When you’re in the presence of someone you perceive to have greatness, there’s a secret longing in your heart to capture their attention, if only for a moment.
While at a Reba McIntire concert a few years back, my youngest son screamed out to her from the crowd at the foot of the stage, “I love you Reba!” To his great pleasure, she looked right at him, pointed and said, “I love you, too, darlin’!” For an instant, he had Reba McIntire’s attention. He’ll cherish the memory forever. Reba? Maybe not. She just doesn’t know the greatness of my son!
The Bible story (here) is one that most of us will quickly recall. Jesus was talking with a crowd of people when an unnamed Centurion approached Him, asking for healing for his servant. Jesus made Himself immediately available and said that He’d come heal the servant. The Centurion stopped the whole incident in an instant when he stated simply that he wasn’t worthy of the Master’s presence in His home, but that because of Jesus’s authority, His Word would be enough to heal the servant.
What happened next?
What was the reaction on Jesus’s face?
Where did the conversation go after such a statement?
We don’t get to see the faces in the crowd, or of the disciples, but we can conjure up imagery of what splashed across the face of Jesus. The Bible tells us that He marveled.
Jesus marveled over the faith of a believer. Other versions of the Bible say that Jesus was amazed, or that He was astonished, or taken aback; surprised.
We don’t have any record of this Centurion ever interacting with Jesus again.
The story is brief, but always commands my attention, every single time I read it. How could I make Jesus marvel? What about my faith would cause amazement to rise up on His face?
What was it about this Centurion’s faith that allowed him to take Jesus at His Word?
We don’t read that he sat at the feet of Jesus, listening intently to every teaching He shared. We don’t have any other account of how this guy chose to believe on Jesus, but he clearly demonstrates faith like few of us have, or have even seen.
If we could grasp ahold of this, and simply believe, like the Centurion, we might just cause Jesus to marvel. And we’ll definitely see what we ask for come to pass, because this is the kind of faith Jesus is looking for.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1 (NIRV)
Who believes like this?