Can You Do Me A Favor
You have heard those words before – “Can you do me a favor?” In most cases, that question is a request for you to do something on the behalf of someone else that you are not obligated to do. Can you do me a favor? When is the last time you asked someone for a favor? Or when is the last time someone asked you for a favor? Can you do me a favor? Again, it is a request for you to do something on the behalf of someone else that you are not obligated to do.
In Matthew 8:5-13. A centurion came to Jesus and asked him to come to his home and heal his paralyzed servant. This unknown and unnamed centurion is a Gentile. He is the commander of a division of the occupying imperial troops, theoretically one hundred in number. And he needs a favor. He needs Jesus to come to his house and heal his servant.
Jesus says, “Am I to come and heal him.” The centurion replies, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.” Why this exchange? What is going on here? In context, the question is, why Jesus has the right to ignore the request? At the surface, it could be because He will contract ritual uncleanness by entering the home of a non-Jew. He is considered unclean because of his race. But, more importantly He has the right because the centurion in context represents offensive Roman oppression. He is a symbol of Roman subjugation. He is the voice of those who have taken something from you and now need something from you.
What does Jesus do? He does not ignore the request. He responds. Why? Because Jesus knows that this tension represents what Kingdom is about. The Kingdom is about doing for those who don’t and for those who won’t.
Are you ignoring the challenge of being Kingdom? You can’t not build the Kingdom and your kingdom at the same time. We don’t do unto others as they have done to us. We do unto others as we would want them to do unto us.