How many times in scripture do we see the word “Marvelous” concerning Jesus regard for someones’ faith? Not very many.In Luke chapter 7 we see just that as Jesus encounters the Roman centurion with the ill and “grievously tormented” servant. The scripture says;”When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith,no not in Israel”Luke 7:9. It is said that “desperate people use desperate measures”, and this is a prime example of a bold encounter where the love and faith of the soldier moves the Master to heal his servant.
Webster’s Dictionary defines: MARVEL as; “To become filled with surprise, wonder, or amazed curiosity; to feel astonishment or perplexity at or about”. What was it about the centurion that brought Jesus to this state of amazement? Let us look more closely at the text; “And a certain centurion’s servant who was dear to him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant”Luke 7:2-3.JWhy were the elders of the Jews going to Jesus to help the centurion? After all, the Romans were the conquering army who invaded Jerusalem and ruled with an iron fist! The answer is in the next verse; “And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly,saying,that he was worthy for whom he should do this:For he loveth our nation and he hath built us a synagogue” Luke 7:4-5.”Built us a synagogue?”A Roman soldier who loves the Jewish nation enough to build them synagogue? Marvelous!
Now that we start to learn a little more about the centurion, let me expand a little more on what a centurion is; a commander of one hundred or more soldiers in the Roman army. The centurion must earn his position by distinguishing himself in battle for his courage, loyalty, and fighting ability. All in all-he is a lean, mean, fighting machine who is not someone to be taken lightly.When he summons you, it is with “fear and trembling” that you come.Yet,here we see that he “Loves” the Jews and has given to them a very generous gift!
As the story unfolds, Jesus agrees to go and heal the man’s servant and is on his way when another group of friends arrive to deliver a new message to Jesus; “And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou should enter under my roof:
Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed”Luke 7:6-7. Jesus marveled at his faith, a Roman, part of the barbarian invaders of his nation, yet this man believed in Jesus’ authority to heal his man servant! The Roman had more faith than anyone in Israel according to Jesus’ own words, the man had ” so Great Faith as not to be found in all Israel!”Luke 7:9. The centurion however,does not see it that way and in fact, keeps referring to himself as “unworthy”. And yet, to conclude the encounter the bible tells us;”And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick” Luke 7:10. Marvelous!
Why did this man get his miracle? Because he loved and he gave! In fact the Jewish elders that first sought Jesus to come and heal the centurions’ servant said that “He is worthy that you should do this for him! Why? because he “Loves our nation and he built us a synagogue!” The centurion was a lover and a giver, and he had great faith!! Let us learn from him and follow his marvelous example!A wise man once said;” You can give without loving but you can’t love without giving!”
Maranatha- Come quickly Lord Jesus!