Today’s devotional is about the time God friended someone that He never even met. Incredibly, this new friendship is with a leader of the Roman guard, an occupying force known for brutally subjugating God’s people, the Israelites.
The story in Luke 7 makes clear that Centurion had heard of Jesus and His miraculous healings. Distraught that one of his servants is sick and near death, the soldier asks some of the Jewish elders to bring Jesus to Him. He doesn’t want to interrogate or punish Jesus - He wants Him to heal his servant.
Even by simply hearing the tales of His wondrous deeds, the Centurion has too much respect for Jesus to ask him into his house. Even more incredibly, He trusts that Jesus has such authority, he believes that Jesus can simply “say a word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8). So rock-solid is this “enemy” soldier’s faith in Jesus that he knows Him without ever having met Him in person.
And because of that vibrant faith, Jesus says the word, and grants the heartfelt request of someone He’s never met in person either!
This is a beautiful model for our own budding relationships with God - even though we might not see Him face-to-face now, we can still boldly trust our bonds of friendship are strong. The best part is God’s willingness to befriend even those who might think they are his enemy, like the Roman Centurion. God requires no prerequisites to a relationship him. We can start right where the Centurion did: with a simple, unshakeable faith that He is who He says He is and that we will be better off knowing Him as our friend.