7After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. 3When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. 4When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, 5for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” 6And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; 7therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 9When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
Where is the Spirit of God to be found? In this second week of Pentecost we come across the reading of the Centurion who’s slave is very ill. He is not one of God’s chosen people. He was not born into the right family, or wore the right clothes and did not belong to the right Nation to even be cared for by God. Yet is this the reality of it? He also is the person who helped build the temple and the Elders had enough respect for him to advocate on his behalf. (they don’t seem to be speaking out of fear but a genuine love for him) But it wasn’t this that impressed Jesus.. It was the humble acknowledgement of who he was in relation to God and his deep understanding of faith and how Jesus came to have what he had that impressed Jesus most.. He could see that Jesus had what he had because of God, and he understood how powerful it was.
In doing this work I was thinking about the walls we put up around people. Whether it be to keep people in or keep people out..But these walls mean nothing to God. God was known to this Centurion and gave him a perspective on Jesus that all others missed. I wonder how often our own walls actually stop us from learning more about God because of our belief that it is not possible that God could be here. The Spirit of God came at Pentecost, she came in many different languages, to speak to many different types of people.. I wonder what it would be like if we assumed it was a two-way conversation with God?