One of my favorite narratives in the life of Jesus is his interaction with the Roman Centurion (Luke 7:1-10) when he sees his faith, trusting that a word from Jesus is all you need. It says, “When Jesus heard these things He marveled at him…” It must be something tremendous to get the Son of God incarnate to marvel. “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (7:9). Faith from a Gentile, faith from an unlikely source, gives Jesus pause and He marvels. The Father grants faith to this centurion and even Jesus is amazed.
Those walking in great darkness around Galilee have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:1-3) and Jesus marveled at this non-Jew, perhaps because of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. He marveled that such faith would be exhibited by a Gentile solder/commander. Wow.
The only other time Jesus is said to marvel is negative. He goes home to Nazareth and He teaches. They were astonished, but unbelieving, disdainful that this nobody would claim to be somebody – taking offense at him. “And he marveled because of their unbelief.” Jesus marvels at unexpected faith and where He expected faith, He got unbelief – from Jews, from those who knew Him best.
How is Jesus marveling at you today? Is He seeing great faith in surprising ways? Or is He marveling at our unbelief though we’ve been given such favor, and grace, and His mighty Gospel & Word?
Let our response be like the Centurion. Let not our familiarity of Jesus result in offense at His name (Mk 6:3c). Luke 7:23 “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”