Summary: Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion. In the passage we see 4 characteristics of a marvelous faith.

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• Last week we looked at the compassion a Christian ought to have.

• Jesus showed it to us in the life of a Samaritan.

• Today, in looking at a faith that caused Jesus to marvel, it is not in a Jewish preacher, or teacher. It is not in one of his disciples. It is in a real, live, centurion, possibly of Syrian descent but surely not a Jew.

• In this passage we will be challenged to look at our own faith. Like the Jews, we have God's Holy Word. We have access to more religious material than the continent of Africa. There are more Christian teachers, preachers, evangelists, and writers in America than anywhere else in the world.

• Yet, worship of God is plummeting in attendance. Our religious freedom is under attack as never before and seemingly few Christians are standing up.

• Nonchristians are more passionate about standing up for the rights of men to use women's bathrooms than we Christians seem to be to stand up for God!

• What is it going to take to turn this ship around? How about God's people exercising a faith that would cause Jesus to marvel?

Read the Scripture

1. Focused on Jesus. Verses 5-6

• Jesus comes to Capernaum, a town out of which much of his ministry would come.

• Centurion - commander of a hundred men, though thought to be ore like 80-100 by Jesus day. Hated by the Jews for occupying their Promised Land. But when the Messiah comes, he will drive out the unclean Bruts and reestablish the throne of David and Israel will rule the world forever and ever.

• Jesus did come to establish the kingdom of God, just not the way the Jews expected.

• This Centurion came to Jesus making an appeal. A plea. We would call it a prayer request.

• Word “Lord” probably little more than Sir in our language, yet he recognizes Jesus as having the ability to heal. Matthew 4 tells us

• “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.” Matthew 4:23-25 ESV

• So, the Centurion at least knew of Jesus' reputation as a healer. (Remember, he may well have been a Syrian)

• He came to Jesus, not the disciples. To Jesus, not the Jewish priests or teachers. To Jesus, not one of his own culture's religious leaders.

• Faith that marvels Jesus is focused on Him.

• Jesus is not just the path to eternal life.

• He is the focus, the center, the end game of our faith. If our faith is just religious fire insurance, the policy is null and void.

• He must be the total focus of our faith. Like this praise song says you are my all in all.. Let's listen

• Play from YouTube

1. Focused on Jesus. Verses 5-6

2. Filled with humility. Verses 7-9

• The Centurion does not request a healing. He states the fact of the condition of his servant, possibly his son - Greek word can mean either.

• Jesus tells the Centurion, I will come and heal him. Jesus is ready to minister to this man and his family. The appeal was faith enough for Jesus.

• The Centurion's response - filled with humility. I am not worthy. . .

• Jesus was willing to be declared unclean by entering this Gentile's house. Interesting that Jesus was often caught hanging out with the unclean crowd! Lepers, the dead, tax collectors, prostitutes. . . They all needed him. They believed He was who He said He was!

• I am not worthy. . . Here is a man with all kinds of authority, yet recognized his position in relation spiritually to the position of Christ.

• Now his faith is fully demonstrated as he says to Jesus - only say the word. . .

1. Focused on Jesus. Verses 5-6

2. Filled with humility. Verses 7-9

3. Found in anyone. Verses 10-12

• Jesus marveled at this man's faith.

• Jesus turns to the crowd, an overwhelmingly Jewish crowd probably with a few Scribes and Pharisees. Not specifically identified here by Matthew.

• He addresses them, truly, I tell you. . . (Verse 10)

• Second, Jesus now tells this crowd that the kingdom of God will be made up of people from all around the world.

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