God shows up in the most surprising of places. And God is there for both the insiders and the outsiders, revealing the Godself in ways that are not the ways we have figured out. Jesus looked at the centurion and saw someone in need. He saw someone who loved his slave enough to want the best for him. He saw someone with faith. And Jesus actually opened himself to being reshaped into a Messiah for all.
Reconciliation, Inclusiveness, and building up new relationships with newcomers in our church, or simply those who are not part of us shapes us into what God is calling us to be. It opens us to the real meaning of the Gospel.
There’s another point to this too. The centurion was not petitioning Jesus for himself. Instead he was carrying someone else to Christ. And he was advocating for someone else and that is missionary work. But he was offering the Gospel to another and in the process was showered in grace.
Is it possible that if we open ourselves to offering the Gospel to even those who are not part of us, perhaps even to our enemies, that God will surprise us in a way that we never imagined?
- What meaning does this passage hold for you?
- What does this say, to us about the meaning of our church membership?