July 21, 2013: Matthew 8:5-13, Read for Older Children
Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Christian Education · July 15, 2013
At that time, Jesus entered Capernaum, and a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
But the centurion answered him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man 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 he does it.”
When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who were following him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; be it done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
1. What is a centurion? What does the centurion in this story tell us about himself? What does the dictionary say a centurion is?
2. Who can you think of who has a lot of power and is in charge of a lot of people like the centurion? Can you imagine that person coming and asking you to help him or her? Why or why not?
3. Do you think it is normal or strange for a Roman centurion to ask a Jew for help? Why?
4. What does this say about the centurion? What does Jesus think about this man asking him for help?
5. What do you think you could do today that would take great faith like this centurion’s?