Recently I realized there were only two occasions in Scripture where we’re told that Jesus was amazed. Do you know what they are?
The first occasion is recorded in Luke 7, which is the story of the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his sick servant. Roman soldiers were characteristically hard, tough men, with little compassion or concern for others, certainly not for servants. We would expect this man to be ruthless and uncaring, so we cannot help but be impressed that he would care about a servant, and that he would be willing to come to Jesus on his behalf. This man was truly humble.
Also, he had been very generous with the Jewish people who were under his command, and had built them a synagogue, though he was not himself a Jew. This was indeed an unusual man.
What is really amazing is his profound comprehension of who Jesus was. As Jesus was going to his home to heal his servant, the soldier sent friends to say to him, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Luke 7:6b-7).
Here was a Roman soldier that somehow knew the power and authority that Jesus had. In addition, he was a truly humble man, feeling unworthy for Jesus to even enter his home. He showed great faith in Jesus, believing that he could heal his servant by just speaking a word, without even seeing the servant.
And when Jesus heard this, we’re told that he was amazed at him. In fact, Jesus said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith, even in Israel” (Luke 7:9b). Jesus was amazed at his faith.
He was amazed at the depth of his faith, and at his persistent in seeking Jesus. Surely it was not considered smart for a man in his position to believe in this itinerant, controversial Jewish preacher. Yet he unashamedly goes to Jesus for help.
He had amazing faith. I would like to have that kind of faith – the kind that amazes Jesus, wouldn’t you?