Faith that causes others to Marvel

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Matthew 8

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

 

Most often in the New Testament, the word “marveled” is used of other people’s attitude toward the miracles and teachings of Jesus.  Verse 10 tells us that Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion.  Do you find this interesting? A man comes to Jesus to ask him to heal the man’s servant, the man’s slave, and when Jesus tells the man he will come and heal him, the man lets Jesus know that he believes that Jesus can heal him from a distance.  Jesus does not need to come to the man’s house, he just needs to say the word and the unnamed servant will be healed.

How often have you been in a prayer meeting where the person praying tells God all of the details of someone’s sickness, as if God wasn’t sure of those details, tells God what hospital the person is in, their name and family’s names and then asks God to heal that sick one?  This centurion’s faith was so great that neither did he tell Jesus the name of the servant nor the location of his house.  In response, Jesus marveled at this man’s faith. We read in verse 13 that Jesus did heal the man and by the time the centurion got home he discovered that his servant was healed at the same time that Jesus said he had been healed.

The irony here is that the centurion was a Roman, not a Jew.  Jesus used this Gentile’s faith to rebuke the nation of Israel and to encourage us to come to him.  The sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness, a euphemism for hell and its punishment, while the Gentiles will sit down with Abraham and Isaac in the Kingdom of heaven.  What does the text tell us that the variable is between the Jews and Gentiles?  Jesus is talking about the faith of the centurion which made him marvel.

Has Jesus ever marveled at our faith? Have we trusted in him so much that he took notice and used our faith as an example to someone else?  This is an interesting thought for us today.

 

Tomorrow night is our Good Friday service at 7:00.  We will focus on the impact of the Cross of Christ on our entire lives and our eternity.  This will be a powerful service for our understanding and faith.

Sunday morning at 9:00 we will begin breakfast at church and then our Resurrection morning service will begin at 10:30.  Bring family and friends with you to this wonderful time of fellowship and worship around the resurrection of the Savior.

Pray for a church family, God knows who they are, that are in a particular time of trouble.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

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