Intense angst to abiding comfort
At that time, a highly valued slave of a Roman officer was sick and near death. When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask [Jesus] and heal his slave. — Luke 7:3 NLT
Jesus completely healed that slave and the Roman officer’s life completely changed as a result. Through our modern lens where equality and justice ring well in our ears (or should ring well in our ears), we do not know anything else about the slave except his or her freedom came in the form of being made well again.
We do, however, know about what that officer was experiencing. Intense angst. The fear of death looming over this officer was so oppressive, so crushing, and even cruel. Look around. A lot of us know about that kind of pressure and uncertainty today.
We also know about Jesus. And in this story, know we now (or are reminded again) of someone so out of options and so aware of the healing powers of Jesus that he did what at one time in his life was unthinkable—he reached out to the One who saves. He met Jesus. In meeting Jesus, his life, and the life of the one he undoubtedly loved, was made whole again.
That the officer contacted Jesus through Jewish elders is cultural. It’s a detail, really. What is universal is the message that Jesus meets us in our most crushing times and provides abiding comfort cannot be forgotten. In fact, this truth must be shared now.
PRAYER: Thank you healing Jesus for always reaching across doubt, anxiety, borders, pride and stubbornness so that we who are slaves to fear can be set free by Your touch.