Have you ever thought about Jesus being awestruck at something? There is a record of Jesus “marveling” in Matthew 8 and Luke 7. He admired the “great faith” of a Centurion Solider.
It was a normal day for Jesus. He was going about doing good and healing. A Centurion Solider, non-Jew, heard of Jesus being nearby and brought his request to Jesus. The soldier’s servant was sick and “greatly tormented”. Upon hearing the need, Jesus was going personally to the man’s servant to heal him. The solider stopped Jesus and basically said: I’m not worthy to have you in my home, say the word, and it will be done.
This wasn’t something Jesus had been seeing or experiencing. He had been accustomed to people needing to see signs and wonders to believe. In conversation with Jesus was a man who had faith. The man had the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Jesus marveled at his “great faith”!
What were some of the characteristics we see in this man that enhanced his faith? The first thing we notice is his respect for Jesus. He had reverence and honored Him as having all authority. Next, we see the man humbled himself. Though the passage points out this man was an important person himself (he had authority over at least 100 men as the Bible called him a Centurion); yet, he humbled himself. He knew that all flesh is like grass. Finally, we notice the Centurion’s request for Jesus to speak the word and it would be done. He knew God’s word remains forever. The Centurion had great faith.
As we consider this passage and the great faith of this man that caused Jesus to marvel, what can we learn? We can learn to present our needs and the needs of others respectfully and in reverence to the Lord. This Centurion was concerned for his servant. He knew how his servant was suffering. He may have been affected by the servant’s inabilities due to his condition, but he didn’t mention that. His request was for his servant’s health to be restored. We can present our needs and requests to the Lord, the one who has been given all authority.
Next, we can learn no matter what important or unimportant positions we have, we can take a position of humility. As this Centurion, we can acknowledge Christ’s honorable position. We can humble ourselves and remember that we are but grass, here today, and gone tomorrow. We exalt God’s authority in the need and our own helplessness thereby lowering ourselves in humility before God.
Finally, we can learn to take Jesus at His Word. The Gospel of John clearly shows there was a division among the people between believers and unbelievers based on what they believed of Jesus’ Word. This man believed Jesus’ Word. We can believe Jesus’ Word.
Let us learn from this man’s characteristics that enhanced his faith. Let us practice these and give Jesus reason to marvel also at our “great faith”.
In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me. Psalm 120:1
We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. ~ Oswald Chambers
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. ~ C. S. Lewis