Recently, as I was having my daily devotions, I came across a passage that stopped me in my tracks. I’ve read the passage a number of times in the past, but it still made me pause.
This particular historical account is recorded in the first part of Luke 7. Jesus had been teaching and healing people. A servant who was highly regarded by his master, a centurion, was near death. The centurion heard that Jesus was near and sent servants to ask Jesus to come heal this sickly servant. Then, the passage reads as follows:
6) Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof.
7) Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.
8) For I also am a man placed under authority, having 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.”
9) When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, 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!”
10) And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.
The text above is from the New King James Version (NKJV). Verse 9 in the New International Version (NIV) reads, “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, ….” Thus, the title of this post.
We are each born a sinner, by sinners, in a sin-fallen world. Even the “good” people sin: jealousy, bitterness, pride, envy, lying, etc.
Without the Holy Spirit living in me and me choosing to continually trust, rely on, and obey God through the empowering work of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word living in me (meditating on it and choosing to live it), I find myself sinning. The centurion, like everyone else, was a sinner.
You can’t surprise God. He knows all. He knew my future before my parents were even born. So, when I read a passage that states, “… he was amazed at him, …,” it takes me by surprise. Jesus, the God-Son, also knew and knows all. I don’t believe this passage is saying that the centurion’s faith took Jesus by surprise, but that He was overwhelmingly pleased … amazed.
Verse 9 in my NIV study Bible has a study note that reads, “7:9 he was amazed. The amazement of Jesus is only mentioned twice, here because of belief and at Nazareth because of unbelief (Mk 6:6).” But someone still had faith that amazed Jesus.
To think that a mere man’s faith – inspired by God – could amaze Jesus … WOW! This centurion was just a man, just a human … like me. Is Jesus amazed at my faith? It at least encourages me to live like that, to know that it is possible to have faith that amazes Jesus.
Be encouraged. It’s possible to have faith that amazes Jesus.