Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Marvelous Faith

The words "marvel", "marveled", or "marvelous" are found 66 times in the Bible. The root word refers to something that causes amazement, or that is striking, extraordinary, or surprising. The works of God are "marvelous" (Psalm 9:1). Men often "marveled" at the miracles of Jesus (Matt. 9:33). When early Christians began to turn from the pure gospel to false teaching it caused Paul to "marvel" (Gal. 1:6).

Jesus, during his earthly ministry, also marveled. Upon entering Capernaum, he met a centurion who had a servant who was paralyzed. The centurion came and pleaded with Christ to heal him. But rather than have Jesus come to his home, the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it" (Matt. 8:8-9). Verse 10 continues, "When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!'"

What a great statement! It is hard to believe that there could be something a man could do that would amaze the Son of God. But our faith can be surprising, striking, and even extraordinary. When we allow our spiritual man to dominate our thinking and behavior it is marvelous in the eyes of our God.

But Jesus also marveled because of man's lack of faith. Jesus was not accepted in Nazareth, his home town. "Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching" (Mark 6:5-6). How tragic that "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (John 1:1)! People who do not believe in Jesus or his work are wasting his sacrifice. They are limiting the impact he can have on their lives. Those to whom Jesus has appeared who remain unbelieving, unhappy, and unsaved have nobody to blame but themselves.

The life and works of Jesus Christ are undeniable. He is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Our response to Christ can cause him amazement. When Jesus sees your life, does he marvel at your faith, or your unbelief?

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." ~ 1 Peter 2:9

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