It benefits me to change

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They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
“He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.

Lk 7:1-10

A small detail caught my eye in this healing of the centurions slave. The centurion had sent the Jewish elders to Jesus regarding that solders request. Note how that Jewish elder tells Jesus “He deserves to have you do this for him.” Those elders were not always the biggest supporters of Jesus, but they found themselves in a situation where Jesus might be able to help their cause. Note that I said help the elders cause, not help the centurion or his slave. Even though they disagreed with Jesus, the Lord could benefit them. With that they could turn a blind eye. Now I am no expert in the Latin language, though I certainly do wish I was. I regret not studying it in the past. In this situation though there is a phrase that leaps into my mind. It enters, although I don’t know how appropriately. Quid Pro Quo, what does that mean? I vaguely recall tit for tat, but that is not right. Quid Pro Quo.

To the dictionary: Quid Pro quo means an exchange of goods or services, where one transfer is contingent upon the other. English speakers often use the term to mean “a favour for a favour”; phrases with similar meaning include: “give and take”, “tit for tat”, “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours”, and “Skid row bro.”

The Elders of a society would do something like that, and even back in the first century? Really, I thought that was the domain of the twenty first century politician. I had no idea a devout religious society would do such a thing. I do like the centurions statement though “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.” Such Sincerity ! It is that sincerity that God seeks. A humble and contrite heart the LORD will not spurn.

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