Lent 2 – Jesus Heals the Centurion’s Slave

In last week’s healing story, Jesus healed someone from the margins of his culture and society, a leper whose feared disease exiled and isolated him from his social and religious community.  In the story that follows in Matthew 8:5-13, Jesus surprisingly heals someone completely outside his Jewish community.  He heals the slave of a Roman Centurion, a Gentile officer who commanded a group of 100 soldiers of a feared foreign occupying army. Then Jesus holds up this outsider as an exemplar of faith!  And he envisions a day when “many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”  Jesus intends to heal the divisions that separate us from one another, and from God.  Will we get on board with his program?

In Christ, Ernie