We are studying Luke 7:1-10 for Sunday, October 20. The text is the story of Jesus’s healing of a centurion’s servant. [ Notes on the text are here.] Here are a few questions about the text we might want to consider:
The centurion “sends” representatives, “elders of the Jews,” with the request for healing for the centurion’s slave. Why do we think he did this? Why did the centurion not go to meet Jesus himself, do we think?
How are the centurion’s reasons for not going directly to Jesus similar to people’s reasons today, do we think? How are they different, do we think? Who plays a role similar to the elders in the story today, do we think?
[More personal] How is the centurion’s position like our own? Why is that? How is the centurion’s position different from ours? Why is that?
What role do the elders play in the story? Why do we think these particular people have been sent to talk to Jesus on behalf of the centurion?
[More personal] How is the elders’ position like ours? How is it different? Why is that?
The elders tell Jesus the centurion is “worthy” or “deserving” of having his servant healed. The centurion, on the other hand, sends a message to Jesus that he is not “worthy” to have Jesus enter his home. What do the elders mean by “worthy,” do we think? What does the centurion mean by “worthy,” do we think?
Is being “worthy” a requirement for Jesus’s healing, do we think? Why do we think that? What do we think it takes to be “worthy”? Why do we think this?
[More personal] Does how we answer this question matter? How? What does it tell us or show us about our own relationship to Jesus? How do we feel about this?
The centurion describes a set of authority relations that affect him, and assumes Jesus has at least similar authority. Does the centurion attribute more, or less, authority to Jesus than Jesus has, do we think? Why do we say that?
How does our own view of Jesus’s authority compare to the centurion’s?