Day 9 - Amazing Faith

Day 9 - Amazing Faith

Written By: Joy Hardin

Matthew 8:1-3, 5-10, 13, NLT
Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. 2 Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” 7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour. 

Matthew 8 records six of Jesus’ miracles, showing that He is Lord over both physical and spiritual illness, as well as nature itself.
The leper believed that Jesus could heal him, but he wasn’t sure if Jesus would. That’s how many of us approach Jesus: we know He can, but we don’t know if He will.  
The Roman centurion was a man of authority who cared for his young servant. He had great respect for Jesus, and it’s likely that he had trusted Christ for salvation. This idea is confirmed in verses 10 and 13 describing the centurion’s “faith” and the fact that he “believed.” The word used for faith in verse 10 indicates “a reliance on Christ for salvation,” and the word used for believed means to “trust one’s well-being to Christ” (Strong’s).
Perhaps the most incredible thing in this passage is that Jesus was amazed or marveled at the centurion’s faith. Can you imagine having such pure faith that Jesus would be amazed? My faith would more often be like the father’s in Mark 9:23-24 who cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” The only other time we are told that Jesus marveled or was amazed like this was in Mark 6:6, where He was amazed at the Jews’ unbelief.
In Mark 6:6, Matthew 8:2, and Matthew 8:13 we see three different levels of faith: no faith (unbelief), weak or doubting faith, and great faith. In verse 13, Jesus told the Roman officer that his servant was healed because he believed, so we know that faith makes a difference. But how do we grow our faith? How can Jesus help our unbelief? Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of God” (ESV).
Recently my little dog Matilda took a bite out of my husband’s feather pillow. It was only a small bite, making a small hole, but once they escaped the pillowcase, feathers were everywhere! Feathers were all over Matilda’s face, so it was evident that she was guilty. No matter how much I vacuumed and swept, feathers fluttered throughout the house, and they could not be contained. In some ways, a growing faith is like that. It can’t be contained. It should permeate every area of our lives, and it should be obvious to everyone around us.

Which of the three different levels of faith most describe where you are on your faith journey: no faith (unbelief), weak or doubting faith, or great faith? Make a decision and a plan to increase your faith.
  1. Read, study, and memorize the Bible.  (Romans 10:17 & Psalm 119:11.)
  2. Actively use the gifts God has given you. (Romans 12:6) If you aren’t sure what your spiritual gifts are or if it’s been a while since you’ve discovered them, take the Spiritual Gift Assessment on the Church at the Grove app. (You’ll find the link on the “connect” tab.)
  3. Guard what influences you. (2 Corinthians 10:15) Evaluate the music, books, TV, movies, social media, and people in your life. Are they negative influences or do they point you closer to Christ? Take steps to eliminate the negative and pursue the godly.
As a result your love for other believers will increase (2 Thessalonians 1:3), and your faith in God will be evident to others, like feathers on your face. (1 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

Father, You know my doubts and my fears. I want to have unwavering faith, but sometimes I struggle. I know you can, but I don’t always believe that you will. Help me to have greater faith and trust in you.