Sermon on Matt. 8:5-13 for Oct. 7, 2018, World Communion Sunday Audio here
When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6 and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8 The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also 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 the slave does it.” 10 When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.
Sometimes I hear people say, “My father always used to say…” — and then they say something wise or useful that they learned from their father. I learned a lot from my father too. Not so much by what he told me, but by his example. I learned by how he lived. He was always respectful to my mother. He valued her intelligence and skill. He helped out in the kitchen, both in food preparation and in clean up. As I was growing up he was always honest. He was disciplined. He was both kind and firm in his convictions. And now that he is old, he is still all of those things. That is what he taught me, not by repeated expressions, but by his life example.
Jesus’ Teaching by Example
In the same way, we learn from Jesus by his example as much as we do from his teaching. We notice what he did with his time, where he went, the kinds of people he spent time with. For example, though Jesus never taught meditation, he meditated. He did not tell us how to treat women, but he treated women with dignity and respect. He did not tell us who we should keep company with, but he was always with the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed and the impure and invited them to his table.
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