Jesus went with them. When he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. Therefore I didn't even think myself worthy to come to you; but say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, 'Go!' and he goes; and to another, 'Come!' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, "I tell you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."
Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well.
This is my favorite story from the gospels. Something different hits me about it almost every time I read it; I could go on and on. This morning, I'm struck by the idea of worthiness. The elders say Jesus should help because the centurion is worthy. The centurion knows he is not, and this is the faith at which Jesus marvels (this is the only time this word is used in a positive sense in the gospels-- every other time Jesus "marvels," it is at unbelief). Amazing faith is rooted in humility.
I'm just excited as can be today, for no other reason than it's Saturday, my day off. I have hours of Buffy on tape to catch up with, and I'm also thinking this might be the day for my annual listening to Patrick Stewart's one-man version of A Christmas Carol. It is truly a joyful noise.