Humility: A Godly Disposition

Matthew 8:5-13

As Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion answered him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I 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 he does it.” When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.”  And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; be it done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

St. John Chrysostom commented on this passage:

What did the centurion say? “Lord, I am not worthy that you come under my roof.” The pain of his servant’s sickness and the demands made by illness in his own house did not make the centurion forget his godly disposition. Even in the midst of disaster, he recognized the superiority of the Master. This is why he said: “Only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I, too, have soldiers subject to me; and I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”      (St. John Chrysostom,  St. John Chrysostom on the Incomprehensible Nature of God, pg. 277)

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