This morning I was re-reading the story of the centurion’s servant who was healed and struck again by Jesus’ response to the centurion’s faith. It’s the only time in the gospels that records such a response from Jesus.
The centurion had sent an urgent request to Jesus via a group of Jewish leaders. The servant he loved and highly valued was sick and close to death and he was asking if Jesus would be willing to heal him. He wasn’t a disciple; he was a Roman soldier and a Gentile and everything about this story is unusual. Jews were not fond of the Romans and even telling Jesus how honourable the centurion was, was highly unusual. When one of the representatives approached Jesus with the message from the centurion that he was not worthy to have Jesus come to his home but that he just needed to say the word and his servant would be healed, Jesus discerned this moment of extraordinary faith and marvelled at him. Turning to his disciples and those who had followed him, he said, “I tell you not even in Israel have I found such faith”
I don’t know about you, but I want to have that kind of faith that causes Jesus to marvel. Faith that believes Jesus can and will do what he has said no matter how impossible it might seem in the natural, where I trust God and take him at his word as the centurion did. I believe this is the kind of faith that pleases him; where it leads us to run to him like the woman who was bleeding and reach out to touch him and like the faith of Jabez who refused to let go until God blessed him. I want to have faith like those who broke through the roof to bring their friend to Jesus and like the blind man who called out for mercy. I want to keep taking risks of faith and believe more deeply than I have before.
From the moment we believed and put our trust in Christ we each began our journey of growing in faith in Jesus and his promises and Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that ‘Without faith, it is impossible to please him” Paul writes in Romans 10:17 this faith ‘comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.’ Jesus who is the living word is the substance of our faith and in Luke 18 where Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow reminding us to pray and not give up, he asks this provoking question…’ when he comes, will he find faith on the earth?’
There was a time when I heard of signs and wonders happening in faraway places and believed they only happened through specially anointed people. I listened to stories and heard of miraculous healings and marvelled at people’s faith. I am so thankful for the journey God is taking me on where I now fully believe this is the supernatural life Jesus intended for us all to expect to live out as his disciples and I’m thankful for the miracles I have now seen, heard and even been part of.
As I have been encouraged, I want to encourage you too. Keep stewarding and exercising the measure of faith he has given you and you will see it increase and grow. Wherever you are on your journey of faith and whatever miracles and breakthroughs you are waiting and trusting Jesus for, keep standing on his word and pursuing childlike faith. Keep being full of awe and wonder at who He is and taking risks knowing that all things are possible to those who believe. As with the centurion may Jesus marvel at our faith.