Jesus was amazed by the faith that different people expressed – both faith that was lacking and dismissive of who He was and faith that was unquestioning, trusting and humble.
While in His own hometown of Nazareth, among some of those who knew Him best since He was a child – neighbors, fellow synagogue members, His own relatives – Jesus was amazed by their lack of faith. Not only did they express little to no faith in who He was and what miracles He could do, many of those in Nazareth also “took offense at him” (John 6:3).
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. – Mark 6:4-6
Yet, it was in Capernaum, not far from where He grew up, that Jesus was amazed by the faith of a Gentile, a Roman centurion. Here was a man of authority who expressed great and humble faith in the power and authority that Jesus had to transform lives. The centurion’s unquestioning faith moved him to believe that Jesus only had to proclaim the healing, only had to “say the word” – Jesus didn’t even need to come to the centurion’s home – and his “servant will be healed” (Luke 7:7).
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” – Luke 7:9
Amazing faith. How will Jesus find my faith? How will He find yours?
Do we put the Jesus we think we know, the Jesus we have all figured out – maybe even knew since we were children – in a box that we’re comfortable with? And we’d really like to keep Jesus right there within the boundaries of the box that we’ve set? After all, we believe He’s a nice God. He’s a good God. He’s a good teacher. We even believe He’s the Savior who forgives our sins, and will one day take us to heaven when we die.
But, will we believe and let Jesus step into our lives right now in powerful, unexpected, and unimaginable ways? Will we release Jesus from our perceived limitations of who He is and what He is able to do? Will we believe and let Jesus step into our world the way He wants to? As the Almighty God, the Sovereign King and Lord over all that exists? Will we believe and let Jesus turn our worlds upside-down or, rather, upside-right from His viewpoint? To truly move us from living in darkness to living in His light? Will we believe that Jesus is able to heal us spiritually, mentally and physically of our blindness, deafness, muteness and brokenness? Will we believe and let Jesus transform us to be more like Him? To truly be filled and flowing more and more with His Spirit’s fruit and power of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23)?
May we each allow the true Jesus to shake up our faith until it is as amazing as He deserves!