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Jesus' Compassion

When Jesus had finished his sermon he went back into the city of Capernaum.

Just at that time the highly prized slave of a Roman army captain was sick and near death. When the captain heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his slave. So they began pleading earnestly with Jesus to come with them and help the man. They told him what a wonderful person the captain was.

"If anyone deserves your help, it is he," they said, "for he loves the Jews and even paid personally to build us a synagogue!"

Jesus went with them; but just before arriving at the house, the captain sent some friends to say, "Sir, don't inconvenience yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of any such honor or even to come and meet you. Just speak a word from where you are, and my servant boy will be healed! I know, because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my men. I only need to say, 'Go!' and they go; or 'Come!' and they come; and to my slave, 'Do this or that,' and he does it. So just say,'Be healed!' and my servant will be well again."

Jesus was amazed. Turning to the crowd he said, "Never among all the Jews in Israel have I met a man with faith like this."

And when the captain's friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed. Luke 7:1-10 (TLB)

In the Gospel of Luke, Jairus, a leader of the synagogue, begged Jesus to come heal his very sick daughter. (See Luke 8:40-56.) Jairus demonstrated great faith, believing that Jesus could heal his daughter simply by laying his hands on her. Jesus honored his faith by agreeing to follow him to his home.

However, prior to this meeting, Jesus had an encounter with a centurion who interceded for his servant's healing. But instead of allowing Jesus to come lay his hands on his servant, the centurion asked that Jesus simply say the word and his servant would be healed. He recognized that Jesus' word was as good as his presence. The centurion's faith amazed Benjamin Wayo, from Federal Capital Territory, in Nigeria.

Benjamin finds it comforting that Jesus had the same compassion for Jairus even though he asked for healing in a different way than the centurion had. It is indeed an encouragement to know that Jesus will have compassion on us wherever our needs draw him. Jesus will not reject us but will meet us where we are. While it is good to learn from the faith of others, we can be confident that no matter our circumstance, trial, or need, Jesus will never forsake us.

Prayer: Compassionate God, thank you for loving each of us just the way we are and for judging us not by the expression of our faith but by the depth of your mercy. We pray in your Holy Name. Amen.

Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus' feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about 12 years old, who was dying. Luke 8:41-42 (TLB)

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