Monday: 2nd December, 2019
Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Two recorded accounts, one cited in Nazareth and events of today’s Gospel cited in Capernaum present the two instances in scripture when Jesus personally marvelled at something he had seen. All other accounts where this word is used in Gospels make reference to others usually along the lines of ‘they, all or people marvelled’ at the things they heard or saw Jesus say and do respectively.
Interestingly, those two instances that got him surprised were polar opposites of each other: an episode of unbelief (Mark 6:6) and the other, an encounter with great faith(Matt 8:10, Lk 7:9). Generally, the things that get any man surprised are things that go beyond their expectations thus, we could make a case that what Jesus’ experience in Nazareth and Capernaum really got his attention. Focusing our lens on today’s text, could we build another case saying the faith of the centurion was underestimated?
Maybe, but what truly stands out is the fact that he had to make those around aware that he had moved from his previous class of faith. When Jesus was told about this sick servant, He responded to this cry with the words ‘I will come and heal him’ because there was a level of faith accompanying that invitation. However, he was taken aback by the words of the centurion: ‘no need to come to my home, just issue a command’.
He had to realise that this centurion had graduated to another level of faith. That wasn’t a chance improvement, it was a consequence of learning from and applying his authority as a soldier. My dear, improvements and opportunities to do so are not limited to specific environments – grounds for growth are in every sphere of life, so use them.