Monday I pointed out that one of the few things that really frustrated Jesus was lack of faith. Today I want to take the opposite approach and investigate what really impresses Jesus.
Today’s verse records one of the few times that Jesus is surprised in a positive way. Jesus has just been asked to heal the servant of a Gentile believer…a Roman centurion. In order to fulfill the request, Jesus agrees to go with the centurion to perform the healing. The centurion then surprises Jesus by telling Him that He doesn’t need to go anywhere to perform the healing. The centurion has the faith that Jesus can heal his servant simply by giving the command right where He was.
The centurion has faith that Jesus can do more than what He has done to that point.
And Jesus “marvels” at this faith.
The word translated marveled here essentially means to be impressed or to show admiration. Jesus is actually impressed with someone! And what impresses Jesus?
Strong faith impresses Jesus.
This word for marveled is used frequently in the New Testament, but it’s only used twice to describe the reaction of Jesus. Here it describes the positive reaction of Jesus to the amazing faith of the centurion.
However, it’s also used to describe profound disappointment within Jesus. And what causes Jesus to be profoundly disappointed?
The lack of faith of the people of Nazareth in Mark 6:6.
As we develop our true picture of Jesus, we need to recognize that Jesus can be either profoundly impressed with our strong faith, or profoundly disappointed by our lack of faith.
It is more important for us to monitor our faith than manage our sin.
If we are growing in our faith and dependence upon God, our sin will take care of itself. However, spending all our time and effort attempting to manage our sin does not necessarily translate into growing our faith.
If our faith isn’t growing, we aren’t growing.
Imitate the centurion by placing more and more trust in Jesus.
And you never know…you might just impress Jesus!
Prayer: Lord show me how to grow my faith in You and trust You in new ways.