The centurion in today’s Gospel reading might make Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people, had there been a Time Magazine in the aught 30’s. He is an influential person…in charge of 100 soldiers…a Roman official. This man has some power and prestige, but he has no power over his friend’s illness. When his highly-valued servant lies dying the centurion reaches out for help. Against all odds this highly-influential man reaches out for the healing power of Jesus.
When his humble message reaches Jesus, the Scripture says Jesus is “amazed.” Lifting up the centurion as an example to the crowd following him, Jesus seems encouraged and inspired to find faith in such an unlikely place.
Today we pause to consider those who, surprisingly enough, have encouraged and inspired us in our journey of faith. Is there someone who doesn’t quite get your church-going, Jesus-loving heart, but inspires you nonetheless? Who reminds you that the Spirit blows where it will? Who is the centurion in your life?