And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him,and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marvelled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.

Matthew 8: 5-13

In context:

Matthew 8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Cleanses a Leper; The Centurion’s Faith

When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him.And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus *said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him,and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.

Peter’s Mother-in-law and Many Others Healed

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him. 16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and [s]carried away our diseases.”

Discipleship Tested

18 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. 19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He *said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Jesus Casts Out Demons

28 When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. 29 And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before [z]the time?” 30 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. 31 The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters. 33 The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.

Introduction

In this series we’ve examined the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and now we’re examining the teachings of Jesus throughout the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

Since we examined the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 at the beginning of this series, we’re now going through Matthew 8.

And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him,and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.

Matthew 8: 5-13

This was one of my father’s favourite stories about Jesus and the remarkable miracles He performed in his short three and a half year ministry on earth.

My father Rev Reuben Donald Elley was a leading New Zealand Presbyterian minister (pastor) for over fifty years from the 1950s.

 

My dad. A man of the cloth. Wise, witty, highly intelligent, a master of the Holy Scriptures contained in the Holy Bible, a man of the greatest faith, merciful, compassionate and very generous. Dad died five years ago.

 

My maternal grandfather, Ernest Herbert Brooker. A Wellington, New Zealand barrister and solicitor, a Wellington Presbyterian elder at St James Presbyterian Church Newtown. then at Island Bay Presbyterian Church for many decades.  A quiet old-school Christian gentleman. Very gentle. Very humble. A man of prayer and of great Christian faith.

 

Ernest Herbert Brooker, my maternal grandfather, a New Zealand lawyer

 

St James Presbyterian Church Newtown

St James Presbyterian Church Newtown

 

Island Bay Presbyterian Church 2

Island Bay Presbyterian Church

 

nz-presbyterian-church-1

 

These types of men were quiet achievers who understood the Holy Bible from their strong Scottish Presbyterian heritage.

My ancestors were amongst the first waves of settlers to arrive in New Zealand in the 1840s. They were promised a Utopia in a distant paradise with new cities and towns amongst glorious scenery, abundant natural resources and Utopian conditions. When they arrived they found mud, mosquitos, cold, hostile Maori (native New Zealanders), no cities and towns and the greatest of challenges.

New Zealand is and was naturally beautiful, although the vast stands of Kauri and other fine timber have been largely decimated. All that remains are national parks in non-arable locations.

My great great grandmother Mrs Elizabeth Brown hosted the first Presbyterian church in Akaroa, a small natural stunning harbour, near Christchurch.

The old house owned by my great great…great grandmother Mrs Elizabeth Brown in Akaroa near Christchurch where the first Presbyterian Church was held

 

My father Rev Reuben Donald Elley, my maternal grandfather Ernest Herbert Brooker, and my great great…great grandmother Mrs Elizabeth Brown, all had the greatest Christian faith.

My father spent his lifetime helping people as a Christian pastor. Dad was a man of the people and had great faith. He’d come to a new ministry posting a immediately make a difference and install great faith in the congregation on every level.

One of dad’s many talents was to build church buildings- always with cash.

Dad completed the Wanganui East Presbyterian Church in 1956-7. The congregation had run into some trouble with completion and dad, at his first ministerial posting, took on the project and got it finished.

 

Wanganui East Presbyterian Church

 

The chapel at Porirua Hospital was build by dad in the 1960s from cash donations.

 

 At dad’s next posting at Khandallah Presbyterian Church in Wellington, New Zealand in 1971 the church hall was burnt down by some naughty boys. Dad knew the family. They were non-attending local poor folks on the church roll. Dad didn’t want the boys charged and so it was.

Dad immediately started a fund raiser and from the wealthy congregants raised a large sum of cash and built a magnificent modern new hall- dedicated to “the glory of God”.

 

Khandallah Presbyterian Church. The new church hall is in the left background. The extension on the north facade of the church is new.

The burn-out church hall in 1971

 

In 1974, Dad moved the family to Auckland to be Professor of Pastoral Care and Evangelism at New Zealand Bible College (now called Laidlaw College), for eight years.

Then in 1980 dad and mum moved back into pastoral ministry at St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Mum was a trained Presbyterian Deaconess, which was the highest ministerial role for New Zealand Presbyterian women until the 1970s, when women were permitted to be ordained as ministers (pastors).

Mum and dad were always “a ministry team”, as mum always described the relationship.

Dad would not have achieved what he did without my mother.

My mother Valerie Jean Elley (nee Brooker) is aged 87 and resides in an Auckland old folks home. Mum has advanced dementia and doesn’t recognise anyone- not even family. This has been the case for two years. It’s indescribably sad for me to even talk to her on the phone- I always cry and find I can’t speak. I was always very close to both my parents and to my maternal grandmother Madge Jean Brooker- also a stellar Christian woman.

 

madge-brooker-b1

My maternal grandmother Madge Jean Brooker. Madge was the leader of the Presbyterian Woman;s movement in Wellington, New Zealand in the 1950s. Madge was always very humble and self-effacing. Madge is the most beautiful and sensitive woman I have ever known.

 

mum and dad 002mum & dad fotomum and dad 001

 

At St Andrews in Kuala Lumpur dad built a large hall- again from cash. This was always dad’s way. he’d never put a church into debt. He used to say, “God will supply the cash and then we’ll build it”

 

St Andrews Presbyterian Church Kuala Lumpur

St Andrews Presbyterian Church hall. Built by funds raised by my father Rev Reuben Donald Elley

And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him,and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.

Matthew 8: 5-13

The centurion, a man in charge of 100 soldiers, said to Jesus:

“Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

Jesus replied:

Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.”

Whatever position you are in in God’s kingdom, exercise today, and in the days to come, the full measure of the faith which God has given to you.