People Jesus Met: The Centurion


Today's Text: Matthew 8.5-13, Luke 7.1-10

For Further Study:  Centurion, Elias Chacour, Blood Brothers

Teaching Link:  People Jesus Met: The Centurion

Jesus refused to engage in "us/them" thinking when he agreed to heal the centurion's servant.  We all fall prey to "us/them" thinking.  What forms of “tribalism” do you see in your own life?


We can hold on to grievances and continue the cycle of anger, ore we can move forward. What hurts, inflicted by others do you hold on to?


Read about Elias Chacour.  Despite his family having been forced out of their home by the Israeli military when he was a boy, Elias Chacour refuses to keep enemies.  This is his plea for those in conflict in the region:

I ask my Jewish brothers and sisters: Do you need to produce more millions of victims from among your own people to convince the world that others have hated you? The world knows – and you must know – it was belief that God Himself had created ‘a single pure race’ that blinded Hitler with power and fueled his hatred and arrogance and sense of ‘divine right.’ Are you listening, O Israel, as the voices of all the dead cry out. ‘Cain, Cain, what have you done with your brother His blood cries out for vengeance.’ And you, Ahab, King of Israel: ‘What have you done in the vineyard of Naboth the Palestinian? You killed him and you think you will inherit his land? “No?” says the Lord God.’
I ask my own Palestinian people: Do we need to produce more victims, more martyrs and more humiliation in order for the world to wake up and see the truth? Yes, we know the evil is not in our resistance but in the ongoing occupation of more and more of our homelands. We know the stone-throwing and opposition are not the cause of the occupation; rather, the occupation fuels the resistance. But must we create more martyrs for the world to know?

In what ways can we refuse to be enemies?

In the days to come, we will be providing opportunities for the Trinity family to be informed and process together my recent trip to Palestine and the Occupied Territories.  As we approach this discussion, let me ask you the following questions to think about:

What is your understanding of Israel as it relates to the Bible and to modern times? 

Where have those ideas and attitudes come from?