By: Zach Collins
According to the New American Oxford Dictionary, the term amazed can be defined as, “surprise (someone) greatly; fill with astonishment.” In fact, this term is used heavily within our culture. If you were to casually scroll through any TV guide or streaming platform, you would find many TV shows and movies that are prefaced with the word amazing. For example, The Amazing Race, or The Amazing Spiderman, or Amazing Grace. We, as Americans, love to be amazed and astonished. However, this term is also found in the scriptures. In fact, there is one situation that stands out within the holy scriptures, where our Savior was amazed.
Let us allow this question to guide the remainder of this article: What amazes Jesus?
In Luke the seventh chapter, at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus comes into Capernaum where a life-or-death situation is presented before Him. Here’s the situation: The servant of a Roman centurion was sick and ready to die, so the elders of the Jews come before Jesus and plead with Him to heal this servant. Jesus proceeds to come into this man’s home, where we see one of the strongest attitudes of humility in all the Bible. In this account, the centurion demonstrates great humility, (v. 6), and recognized the authority of the Christ, (v. 8). In fact, because of this marvelous attitude, we find the answer to our question, in v. 9, when the Bible records, “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!” What amazes Jesus? Faith. Jesus was was amazed because He had never seen faith like that of the Roman centurion, not even in Israel.
As a child of God, we find a profound lesson in this small anecdote from the scripture. We may never make it on some “amazing” reality show or do anything of real note in our own lives. Our family, friends, and neighbors may view our life as extraordinarily ordinary. However, if our faith resembles that of the Roman centurion, we too will turn the head of our Savior and cause Him to marvel at our faith. In fact, there are THREE components of great significance regarding the faith of the Roman Centurion:
- The faith of the centurion was not only spoken but also seen in his action. This was a man who loved and built a synagogue for the Jewish people, (e.g., Luke 7:5). His faith was not absent from works, as faith without works is dead, (c.f., James 2:24).
- His faith worked for the good of others. Though this was a man of great power, he loved his servant who, under Roman law, was viewed as property, (e.g., Luke 7:2). Through faith, he looked for opportunity to do good unto others, (c.f., Galatians 6:10).
- By faith, the centurion acknowledged that nothing was too hard for God. He believed Jesus could simply say a word and heal His servant, (e.g., Luke 7:7). This centurion believed with God all things are possible, (c.f., Luke 1:37).