The prophet Isaiah wrote of Jerusalem, the Holy City, as a place that all nations will flock to. He wrote that it would be a place where people would visit to hear God’s instruction and obtain His counsel. This city of Jerusalem was prophesied to be established as the highest mountain over every other mountain. It is paralleled to the life of the Lord Jesus, who himself frequented Jerusalem on important occasions. It is no wonder that He kept in line with the prophecy of Isaiah and visited the Temple of Jerusalem, a place that was sacred to the people of that time. Little did the people know, however, that the real Temple of God was right in their midst. They failed to see the holiness of the Lord Jesus, they failed to see the instruction, wisdom and counsel that He had to offer, they failed to see how He, the Son of Man, would be lifted up high over every nation and tribe, when He was raised from the dead.
However, this is contrasted with the character in the Gospel Proclamation of today. We are introduced to a centurion, a man of authority who was no stranger to giving commands. Yet he, in all his humanness, had his eyes open to recognize the Lord Jesus for who He is – Messiah, Lord, Saviour and Healer. The centurion not only recognized the Lord, but he also acted. He did not keep that knowledge to himself, simply thinking he knew who the Lord Jesus was, but he reached out to the Lord. He made known his need and gave the truth of his heart. He did not hide the reality from the Lord, and so the Lord listened.
What is even more beautiful is that the Lord Jesus acknowledges this centurion’s faith and even goes to say that nobody in Israel displays faith as much as this man! What might the people of those times have thought? They were the ones who frequented Jerusalem for every Feast, who prayed in the synagogue and offered sacrifices – yet it was this centurion who was acknowledged before God. Today we must be wary that we too do not get caught up in places of worship, in ritualistic practices and as a result, fail to recognize the Lord who is among us – mostly in our brothers and sisters.
Prayer: Abba Father, let my eyes never be closed to your presence. Amen.