When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
There are a lot of messages in the gospels little story about the centurions approaching Jesus, but one stands out this second day of Advent and that is the why of the nativity. Who, what, when, where, why and the why is to heal the sick and suffering. As Jesus says “I will come and cure him” to the centurion, isn’t that also the reason for the Nativity? There are a lot of questions about the Nativity, and a surprising number of them can be answered within the line of this Gospel account, but perhaps just thinking about Christ as a healer is earth shattering enough. Christ’s nativity isn’t for riches and the power, and he does not come for a military conquest or vengeance. He comes to cure us, and in that cure he recognizes and accepts the frailties of humanity. How different is that from what the centurion had been used to? A centurion is after all an officer of the Roman army, and how much interest did his emperor have in healing the wounded? To the contrary the Roman empire was built on conquest and power. How different is Christ the King, Christ the healer?