When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (Luke 7:9)
The centurion that Jesus marveled at demonstrated not only great faith, but great kindness, respect, and humility. His servant was sick and dying and the centurion valued the life of his servant. Although he had authority, he didn’t even have to strongarm anyone into going to Jesus, the elders of the Jews pleaded earnestly with Jesus on behalf of this centurion. And when Jesus was not far off from the centurion’s house, he sent friends to express his unworthiness to have Jesus come to his house. This is where the marveling comes in:
And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Luke 7:6-8)
Through his words, this centurion not only recognized Jesus’ authority, but humbly respected Jesus and put his faith in Him.
Even being a man set under authority and at the word of the Jewish elders was a man worthy of receiving from Jesus what he asked; yet in light of Jesus, he asked humbly – not even presuming Jesus to come to his house, but merely to speak healing for his servant.
When reading, “When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him”, what goes through your mind?
There are two instances in which we read of Jesus marveling at people – this section in Luke and this one in Mark:
And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. (Mark 6:4-6)
The contrast is stark – He marvels at the faith of the centurion and a miraculous healing is performed, and He marvels at the unbelief and He could do no mighty work there.
Do you want Jesus to marvel at your faith?
Assumingly every child of God answers yes to this. Yet, how can we ensure that we are being people who will make Jesus marvel in a good way and not at our disbelief? The answer, as usual, is to abide in Jesus. If you are making the habit of daily abiding in Him, reading His word and praying, you will not only “hear” about the works He’s done as recorded in His word, but you will see the works of God in your life.
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11), but by exercising your faith by abiding in Jesus and believing the result reaped will be as He says in His word, this ultimately makes your faith grow, which is so precious to God. Today, humbly walk with your God by faith and show Him a great faith to marvel over.