By Dot Bowen
Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, "I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” Luke 7:9 (ESV)
If you spend much time with Christians, you will often hear the word faith. Faith is such a common word that we take for granted everyone understands what it means. I understand faith is essential to my relationship with God, but do I really understand what it means to have faith? For the next few weeks our weekly devotions will be about what faith is and what faith is not. We will tackle the role faith plays our prayer life and how much faith we need to please God.
Do you know Luke 7:9 is in reference to a Gentile’s faith that caused Jesus to marvel? When I think of Jesus—the Son of God—I can’t imagine doing anything that would cause Him to marvel. Unfortunately, my earlier life was more about making Jesus sad. Just this morning I wished I could go back and do things differently. But I can’t. I’m thankful Jesus didn’t give up on me, and I pray my life can now cause Jesus to marvel. However, I do wonder how anyone can possibly amaze God when He knows everything. Luke and Matthew record a story in Scripture about a man who left Jesus amazed. We don’t know the man’s name, but we know his position: he was a Roman centurion, a Gentile. It’s interesting to find Jesus weeping over Jerusalem and the Jews yet marveling at a Gentile. Is it difficult for you to imagine God having emotions like sorrow and happiness? In comparison to our tears, God’s tears are never from fear or surprise; He knows everything and fears nothing.
So what caused Jesus to marvel? The Roman Centurion said, “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." Jesus wasn’t marveling at the soldiers’ obedience; He marveled that the Centurion recognized Jesus was under the authority of God, which is exactly what Jesus taught and exactly what everyone misunderstood. But is that what amazed Jesus? I don’t think so. I believe what caused Jesus to marvel is the Centurion’s faith. He had faith to come see Jesus. He had faith to ask Jesus to heal his soldier. And he had faith to believe Jesus was powerful enough to just say the word and his soldier would be healed. Ponder that for a minute! His faith gave him the courage to speak to Jesus on behalf of his soldier. That, my friends, is amazing!
I going to ask you the same question I asked myself after studying this passage: Do you have enough faith to ask Jesus for a miracle? Do you have faith to trust God to change your life so you will never be the same again? What is going on in your life at this very moment where you need God to perform a miracle? If you are like me, I believe He can! But will He? That’s the harder question. Faith looks at the heart of God and believes God will not withhold anything good from His children. Faith is believing God can, and God will. I believe! Do you? If so, you will amaze Jesus!
Further Reading Matthew 8:10; Luke 7:1-10; Psalm 84:11