The centurion said, “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” … When Jesus heard this, he marveled and exclaimed, “I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.” Matthew 8:8–10
We know that during Jesus’ three years of ministry in Israel, he traveled around the country proclaiming the good news that the Kingdom of God was approaching. We know that Jesus did amazing deeds for people in all these places—he taught authoritatively, healed the sick, made the blind see, made the lame walk, and raised the dead. We marvel appropriately at all he did. But when he finally arrived in his hometown, his neighbors and family were not amazed; they were incredulous. Jesus’ quiet response to their unbelief was amazement, leading to a heartbroken inability to do much for them. But just as he marveled at the abject unbelief of his relatives, he marveled at the audacious confidence of his enemy. While performing for standing room only crowds of his countrymen, a troop commander from the occupying Roman army approached him and asked for his help. Jesus had expected acceptance from his friends but was amazingly disappointed at their unbelief. He had expected animosity from the enemy of his people but was amazingly pleased with his faith; and praised him for it. Jesus’ reputation deserves this kind of response. We can expect the same marvelous praise when we respond to Jesus with the centurion’s completely committed confidence.
Sovereign Savior, your authoritative word calms stormy seas and heals across time and space. Speak your marvelous word into my desperate but confident life.