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I alone know what’s on my laptop

Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too 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 servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well. Luke 7: 1-11
 

On a fairly regular basis folk appear before Jersey’s Courts and evidence is given by reliable witnesses as to the contents of the hard-discs of their laptops. Over the years you may have known a few of those folk personally – and been amazed when they’ve been disclosed as clearly “guilty as charged”.

Me too. It’s very unexpected in a public figure, a former colleague, a former friend, a family member.

 
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‘The important thing about a man is not where he goes when he is compelled to go, but where he goes when he is free to go where he will.' (A W Tozer, Pastor and author, 1897-1963)

The first-century-AD Roman centurion from Capernaum (a seaside town on the Lake of Galilee in northern Israel – still there today) didn’t have a laptop. But he had something similar. How do I know that? By the underlined words in the incident recorded in bold above. It’s from Luke’s biography of Jesus from Nazareth – from a town not far from Capernaum.

The centurion is in need. He has a “highly-valued” servant (the gender of the original Greek word is male) who was “sick and at the point of death”.

Who better to send to Jesus to ask for help than the Capernaum “elders of the Jews”? After all they know him – they know what the centurion has done outwardly. They will tell Jesus that he has built the Capernaum synagogue. They speak to Jesus.  He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” But do they know what’s on his laptop?

Now the decisive, military centurion, despite the command structure to which he is accustomed, changes his mind when Jesus is actually coming to him. He regrets his request that Jesus come to him. But he still wants his servant to be released from mortal sickness that is about to take him away for ever.

The centurion doesn’t only have the ability to send the elders of the Jews to Jesus. He also has friends whom he can send. His friends know much more about him than the Jewish elders. They know what he’s like. They are friends. They will be able to stop Jesus coming to him – without stopping Jesus actually saving the life of his highly valued servant.

The centurion’s friends don’t know what’s on his laptop. But they do know a thing or two about the centurion. They speak the truth as they know it. They use the exact words the centurion gave to them to say, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof…. say the word, and let my servant be healed.”

Is the centurion “worthy” or “not worthy”? Who knows? Did Jesus know? In fact (good question) did Jesus know what was on his laptop?

 
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‘We need to be delivered from the freedom which is absolute bondage into the bondage which is perfect freedom.' (William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1881-1944)

The centurion was convinced about Jesus. “I too 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 servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

He was convinced as to who Jesus was and as to the authority Jesus had. Jesus said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

Irrespective of what the centurion had on his laptop this conviction which he had about Jesus saved the centurion’s “highly valued” servant from death.

Could Jesus have saved the centurion himself from the slave he had inside, the slave which made him unworthy to have Jesus “under his roof”?

 
Richard Syvret

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