"The breakfast is ready," said the officer's wife.
"Yes, I'll be at the table in no time," said the officer.
"What are we going to do of him?" asked his wife.
"Of this servant you brought for help. How can you forget about him? He lies here all day like a dead body. What am I to do of him? I'm tired of tending for him and seeing him in such a condition."
"Wifey, I have not forgotten about him. How can I? He is very dear to me. But I do not understand what is to be done. When such paralysis strikes, people normally remain like that until they are ready for the grave, or yes of course until some miracle happens."
"I've heard of a man who does miracles."
"Are you talking about the Jesus of Nazareth?"
"Yes of course. Maybe you can ask him."
"I'll see," said the officer, and deftly finished his breakfast. Then he moved out of the house.
During the day, he moved about in the town going about his duties as an officer of the Roman army in Capernaum. The soldiers under him weren't so very fond of him - as is generally the case with all who are under authority; but they had to obey, after all, he was an officer in the army and honouring his word did not come as an option. While he was at his duties, he noticed some hustle and bustle around him all of a sudden.
"What's the matter?" asked one of the soldiers who were assisting him. "Why are people all of a sudden so excited?"
"It's Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David; I've come to know that he has just come to the city. I've heard that he can even heal" answered a soldier.
"Yes, even I have heard that," said the officer, pensively staring at his foot.
"Sir, you seem to be unwell today."
"No, I am not. It's one of my servants."
"A servant? Don't worry sir, I can send for a replacement. Why should a servant's health bother you?"
"He is very precious to me," said the officer. "I cannot imagine losing him, but that's what his failing health may lead him to, any time now."
"Is there something I can do for you, sir?"
"Yes. Drop-in a word at the Jewish elder's house to ask this Jesus to visit my home."
"Yes sir," said the soldier, and left.
Time was passing by fast as it always does when we are anxious or impatient about something. And though he was busy with his everyday duties, his servant's failing health was at the back of his mind continually, and this was bothering him.
Just then, a friend visited him.
"Hello dear," said the officer's friend.
"Is something bothering you?"
"No, nothing too special."
"Then why are you not as cheerful as you always were? Come on, tell me! What are friends for?"
"Will you do me a favour?"
"Yes. Is that even a question? Say it."
But just then a servant knocked on the door.
"Come in," said the officer.
"Sir, I have asked the elders of the Jews to ask Jesus to visit your home just as you had asked me to. Now Jesus is on his way to your house; he may soon reach."
"Oh!" thought the officer, "What have I done? I asked that holy man to come to my house. Was that even needed? He can just say the words, give orders and it will be done; just the same as I do. He is the Son of God after all; he has everything under the Sun under him; even me. Why not? When my subjects fear the sight of me and honour my every word, then he is the one much higher and greater than me. Everything on earth should be obeying him or they'll be ruined. Oh no! Not like that; not ruined exactly, but still, why should he trouble himself so much for such a man as me?"
"See you are again lost in thoughts," said his friend.
"Can you just go and ask Jesus to give the orders so that my ill servant can get healed?"
"Sure. I can do that buddy. Why not? But why don't you try to talk to him yourself or why not just let him come over? He's already on his way."
"No, no; I'm such a sinner. How can I face that holy one? I now feel that not even my house is good enough for him to enter. He is the Son of God that the Jewish scriptures prophesy about. I may not be knowing the Jewish customs too well, but I revere their God and know in my heart that he is the true God."
"Oh I get it now," said his friend. "So that is why you even got their synagogue built."
"Yes, I love this nation of Israel. It's just something from within. Anyway, request Jesus if he could just give orders for my servant's healing."
"But why? I mean, I can't get you."
"Yes, you sometimes don't. He can give orders and it will be done; just the same as I do" said the officer.
"Yes, why not? I'll tell him just that; whatever you said to me. Bye-bye. See you soon."
Jesus was now in Capernaum and not very far from the officer's house. The officer's friend saw him and reached out to him.
"Lord, I have a word from the officer whose house you are about to visit. He says that you should not trouble yourself so much by going all the way to his house. He thinks that he does not deserve to have you visit his house, not even good enough to personally come and talk to you. He requests that if you could just say the word that will be more than enough, for he understands that you have authority over all things and can do that, just the same as he gives orders to people under him. He says and it's done, so why not you?"
"Wow! I mean just wow!" said Jesus and turned to face the crowd following him. "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."
The friend then returned to the officer's house and found the servant well. The paralysis had left him; he was no more dying.
Jesus had done it again!
© 2021 Lincy Francis