“When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at [the centurion], and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” Luke 7:9 (Equivalent: Matthew 8:10)
Jesus marvels at his faith.
In Luke, we read about a centurion who sent word to Jesus so that He might heal His servant who was sick to the point of death. The centurion had heard about the miracles that Jesus had performed and believed He was the answer to save his servant, whom he deeply cared about. In his request, he knew that Jesus could heal his servant by just His words alone, without even making the entire journey to his home. The centurion knew that sickness was a servant to Jesus, and it had to obey if Jesus commanded it so, just as his own servants obeyed his orders. Jesus marveled at the faith of this gentile, in spite of all their differences.
The centurions, leaders of Roman armies, were hated by the Jews as they ruled over them. They were hard-hearted soldiers, living in foreign land, and very skilled at killing. They often treated the Jews harshly and unfairly. Though all of this was true, It did not matter to the centurion that Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi, a supposed enemy of his allegiance to Rome. He heard the message of Jesus, saw past their differences, and had full faith in the capabilities of the One who changed lives. His faith exceeded that of those who had supposedly devoted their lives to serving the God of Israel.
“And [Jesus] marveled because of their unbelief….” Mark 6:6 (Equivalent Matthew 13:58)
Jesus marvels at their unbelief.
One other time in Scripture do we find Jesus marveling at faith. In Mark, Jesus was visiting His home town of Nazareth. As He was accustomed, He spent His Sabbath in the local Synagogue where He would preach and teach. But in His home town, the people knew from where He was raised and, hence, they could not look beyond His earthly roots to who He really was. The depth of their unbelief was incredible to Jesus, causing Him to marvel.
We have the capacity for either. Jesus can either marvel at our belief or marvel at our unbelief. Which way is it for you?
- “And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24
Father God, forgive us for the times when we do not have faith to believe. Lord, we cannot believe on our own, and need your help. Help us to believe in all that you have said, have done, and will do. You are trustworthy and able to be believed. Thank you for your consistency and unfailing grace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.