The Day Jesus Marveled!
Text: Matthew 8:10 — Mark 6:6
Can I as we begin this sermon this morning define for you the word marvel so we are on the same page.
In our text’s this morning can I truly say that in all of Scripture this is the only 2 times that I can find where the God of heaven marveled in all of His life while upon this earth.
He was literally filled with astonishment at just 2 things and because we have read the texts you know what. He marvelled at the faith of people.
Think about it.
He was not sad or angry but He stood in astonishment at just two opposites of one action…
Jesus looked upon these 2 events and He saw one thing…
We live in a world that has faith all around us but so many refuse to acknowledge faith, even in the church.
The examples of Jesus’ astonishment stand as a warning to us as fishers of men. We are not to judge where to throw out the nets, but are obligated to fish this entire world. We cannot always judge who will be receptive to the Gospel of Christ nor can we predict who will reject it. We as Christians are required to continue the work of the Apostles as the Lord commissioned them and His church.
Let me illustrate it this way…
The Eskimo men were going out to fish for the village and 2 young Eskimos Joe and Moe were selected to go out of the village for the first time and fish for the village.
As they went out the 2 young men were talking about how many and how big of fish they were going to catch. Joe said to Moe… I am going to catch a whale… Moe laughed and said yea, me too…
As the custom they soon split off and were separated by snow mounds and distance.
After a period of time Moe decided to go see what his buddy was doing and as he came upon his buddy, Joe, he noticed from a distance that instead of the small 2 to 3 ft hole drilled in the ice the young man’s buddy had a 10’ hole in the ice with his line over the edge.
Moe finally gets to his friend and ask why the big hole… Joe said “How can I expect to catch a whale if I don’t believe I will by my actions.
Those 2 Eskimos illustrate faith… One for a lack of faith and the other for the greatness.
Some of you here don’t believe Jesus because we have become to complacent… From a scriptural standpoint… It seems, then, there are two things that make Jesus step back and say “Wow!”
- Those who believe when it’s not expected they would.
- Those who disbelieve when there’s every reason they should.
This morning I want to look at both events and I want us to try and understand how Christ works…
First… let us read… Matthew 8:5-10
I. Jesus Stood In Amazement Of This Man’s Faith!
Jesus had just finished His sermon on the mount and He comes down from the mountain and immediately heals a leper and goes into Capernaum He is approached by a centurion who cries out to Jesus that he heal his servant.
This servant was so loved that this man of great authority went himself to beseech Jesus to heal him. Jesus immediately says he will come and this centurion goe all in… You see it in Vs. 8&9…
Look at Jesus’ response… He literally stood in amazement at such faith… He saw this man’s substance and evidence of who he was… Jesus told him that his servant was healed and this man’s faith did not say… Are you sure?
His faith said “I Believe!”
This morning I want to ask you this… How does God see your faith?
Is your faith a…
- I hope so
- or we will wait to see?
Or is your faith a… I stand amazed in the presence of a mighty God who can…
Is it a, as someone once said, “A great attempt at something so great for God that it is doomed to fail unless God be in it” FAITH!
John Piper once quoted Billy Graham, saying, “God will not reward fruitfulness, he will reward faithfulness.” The centurion was faith-full.
He rewarded this man’s faith but greater than that Jesus MARVELED at his faith. It is a great thing but there is another time that Jesus was said to marvel…
Let us look at the second thing…
II. Jesus Stood In Amazement Of This City’s Lack of Faith! Mark 6:1-6
They looked upon Jesus not as the centurion but as a fellow nazarene whom they had seen all their life.
Phillips Brooks, an American Episcopal clergyman of the late 1800’s and remembered as lyricist of the Christmas hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, once said “familiarity breeds contempt, but only with contemptible things or among contemptible people.”
That was where Jesus was in his own country and hometown .Those in Jesus’ hometown thought they really knew Him, but their contempt for Him says nothing about Jesus and everything about them!
- The people did not expect their Savior to come from among them.
- They did not expect a carpenter to lead them to the Promised Land.
- When the people perceived that even His own brethren rejected Him, they were “offended at Him.”
His familiarity stood as a stumbling block to their belief (Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:32,33; 1 Pet. 2:8). “They could not explain Him, so they rejected Him.” (Wuest’s Word Studies)
William Barclay suggests that nothing can be done if the atmosphere is wrong. A man cannot be healed spiritually, if he refuses to be healed. An atmosphere of critical coldness and bland indifference will stifle the message of the best sermon. Finally, there can be no peace making in the wrong atmosphere. “If men come together to hate, they will hate. If men have come together to refuse to understand, they will misunderstand. If men have come together to see only their own point of view, they will see no other.” On the other hand, “if men have come together loving Christ and seeking to love one another, even those most widely separated can come together in Him. There is laid on us the tremendous responsibility, that we can either help or hinder the work of Christ. We can open the door wide to Him – or we can slam it in His face.” (DSB-Mark, p.141)
No man is immune to bouts of unbelief which often leads to unfaithfulness.
This leads me to some conclusions and it should lead you there as well…
Here it is!
Does Jesus ever marvel at you or me?
- I think when he sees his people trusting in the midst of extreme suffering, He marvels.
- When he sees people from the roughest backgrounds come to him with brokenhearted humility, He marvels.
- When he sees you give up comfort and security for the sake of His work, He marvels.
But on the other hand, I fear He may marvel at us for the wrong reasons sometimes.
I think Jesus marvels at some of us who sit under the preaching of the word and enjoy the fellowship of the saints and know all the Bible stories and still there’s no zeal for Christ, no desire to grow in him, no effort to put him first.
- Nazareth is a warning to us.
- Familiarity can breed spectacular unbelief.
- The Centurion is a ray of hope.
- Even the unlikeliest among us sometimes believe.
In both cases, Jesus marvels.
I’m sure Jesus stands amazed as he looks at the churches in the United States.
I wonder what makes him marvel the most?