a man very dear to him. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent some elders of the Jews to
persuade him to come and save his servant’s life. The elders came to Jesus and begged him
earnestly, saying, “He deserves this of you, for he loves our people and even built a
synagogue for us.”
Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house, when the Roman officer sent friends to
give this message, “Sir, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to welcome you under my
roof. You see, I didn’t approach you myself. Just give the order, and my servant will be healed.
For I myself, a junior officer, give orders to my soldiers, and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he
goes; and to the other, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
On hearing these words, Jesus was filled with admiration. He turned and said to the people
with him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” The people, sent
by the captain, went back to his house; there they found that the servant was well.
Today Paul instructs us to pray for our civil leaders. These people bear heavy burdens.
In a complex world of competing interests, it is difficult to enact policies that will help to
provide for the common good and ensure the health and safety of the most vulnerable,
especially the poor and future generations.
The lives of civil authorities are filled with temptations as well. It is easy to become so
enamored of the status and power that you will do anything to hold on to it. There is a
temptation to listen only to those who tell you what you want to hear or those who can
offer you the support you need to stay in power. That makes it easy to forget those on
the margins who can offer no access to power. There is temptation to use power not to
help the common good but oneself.
So we should join Paul in praying for those in civil authority, asking God to strengthen
them against these temptations and grant them wisdom and courage to create a just
and peaceful society.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2023