numerous places in the Bible that record people who were amazed by or in awe of
Jesus. The people marveled at His very different teachings and at the
extraordinary miracles He performed. But there are few recordings of Jesus marveling.
One such recording is in Luke 7:9:
When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at
[the centurion], and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I
say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”
the only recording of Jesus marveling in a positive sense. The only other time
that Jesus marveled was at the unbelief of those in His hometown (Mk 6:6). So
what was it that so impressed the Lord Jesus about this Gentile centurion?
centurion was described as “deserving” of Jesus’ help since he built a
synagogue for the people and was said to love the Jewish nation. The lengths he
took to send elders to plead and obtain help from Jesus clearly show the
compassion he had for his ailing servant. Though the centurion was successful
and powerful, he was unaffected by the elevated opinion others had of him.
He sent a
message to Jesus saying, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself,
for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not
even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the
word, and my servant will be healed” (Lk 7:6-7).
centurion was used to commanding soldiers around every day, but his humility
was unique in that he understood that there was a difference when it came to
his status before the Lord Jesus. For all his worldly power, he was powerless
when it came to the life of his beloved servant. But because of his worldly
authority, he also had experienced that any words he spoke would be carried
out. Therefore, he had faith in Jesus’ authority—that He could just speak
the words and his servant would be healed.
Jews who wanted to be healed brought their sick before the Lord. Their actions
manifested an inner conviction that Jesus had the power to heal. The men who
lowered their friend through a roof in order to get him through a crowd to
Jesus also showed admirable faith. But there is no other example in the Bible
in which a person who sought for healing requested for Jesus only to speak the
words, believing that that was enough. What great faith indeed!
Question for Reflection
it your belief or your unbelief that causes Jesus to marvel?