Summary: Twice in the Gospel record we are told that Jesus marveled. Here in Capernaum, He marveled at the faith of a Gentile; and in Nazareth, He marveled at the unbelief of the Jews.
Luke 7:7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
Luke 7:8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
I. Wow! What Love, 2, 3
II. Wow! What Praise, 4, 5
III. Wow! What Humility, 6, 7
IV. Wow! What Faith, 7-9
We need more respect for authority.
I went to the store the other day, I was only in there for about 5 minutes and when I came out there was a motorcycle cop writing a parking ticket. So I went up to him and said, ‘Come on buddy, how about giving a guy a break?’
He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. So I called him a pencil necked nazi. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having bald tires!!
So I called him stupid. He finished the second ticket and put it on the car with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket!!
This went on for about 20 minutes, the more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.
I didn’t care. My car was parked around the corner...
Now, I am not talking about the kind of "faith" that one has when he closes his eyes and prays that when he goes home he will find a new Lexus parked in his driveway. That is ridiculously absurd.
Faith is believing what God said in His Word, trusting in His promises, and accepting His revealed will. It is eagerly searching the Word knowing that what it says is true and that it is all about us and what matters not to us and what our future will be. It is a willingness to bet your life that the Word of God is true and reliable.
Luke 7:1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
Capernaum was His adopted hometown where He performed many of His miracles.
Twice in the Gospel record we are told that Jesus marveled. Here in Capernaum, He marveled at the faith of a Gentile; and in Nazareth, He marveled at the unbelief of the Jews (Mark 6:6).
I. Wow! What Love! (2, 3)
Luke 7:2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
Luke 7:3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
He held this Jewish slave boy to be dear and not only had him cared for in his own home but went forth to seek means for his cure.
The centurion is a gentile. During that time and in that corner of the world, there abounds racial tension. The Jews looked down at the gentiles. They even call them "dogs." They shun them. They ridicule them. They don’t want to associate with them.
On the other hand, there is plenty of anti-Semitic sentiment among the gentiles even in that era. So, there is a seemingly unbridgeable racial divide. The Jews hate the gentiles and the gentiles hate the Jews. The feeling is mutual.
The centurion is an officer of the Roman military. A centurion is a commander of a hundred soldiers. These soldiers maintain law and order in that locality. You can say that the centurion is the chief of police. But he represents the occupiers, the Romans. He is the embodiment of the hated enemy, the oppressor, the undesirable foreign element. A radical Jew will not hesitate to plunge a knife at the back of a Roman soldier if he finds one patrolling alone in the dark alley.
Aristotle said, "A slave is a living tool, and a tool is an inanimate slave."
Gaius in his Institutes reveals that a master possessed the power of life and death over a slave. If a master so desired he could go out and murder any or all of his slaves... no questions asked.
Varro explained that the difference between a slave, a beast and a cart was that a slave could talk.
In his book, Living Faithfully, J. Allen Blair tells of a man who was struggling to get to Grand Central Station in New York City. The wind blew fiercely, and the rain beat down on him as he lugged his two heavy suitcases toward the terminal. Occasionally he would pause to rest and regain his strength before trudging on against the elements.