Jesus Marveled

Mark 6:6- And He marveled because of their unbelief.

Matthew 8:10- When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to them that followed, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

There are many accounts in the New Testament of crowds, disciples, and various individuals marveling at something or someone. Their astonishment was primarily directed toward Jesus, for example: His wisdom and teachings (Mt. 22:22; John 7:15; Luke 20:26), His miraculous power and demonstration of Lordship (Mt. 8:27), His ability to forgive sins (Mt. 9:8), and His courage (Mark 15:5).

On the other hand, it is interesting to note that there are only two things recorded in the Bible that astonished Jesus. Great accomplishments, tremendous wealth, multi-talents, physical prowess, social standing, outstanding abilities, winsome personalities, or even moral integrity— all of which could be considered desirable— were not among the attributes that caused Jesus to marvel. No, as we read in Mark 6:6 and Mt. 8:10, it was faith or lack of faith exhibited by individuals that caught His attention.

Sometimes it is tempting for me to feel inadequate regarding my accomplishments for the Kingdom; I wonder if I am pleasing to the Lord, or if He might be disappointed with my efforts compared to those of others. And so, it is a great comfort to know that I do not need to depend on my accomplishments or personal attributes to catch the favorable attention of Jesus. Instead, with the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, I can direct my desires and efforts toward building my faith (obedient trust) in Jesus, and thereby also overcome any unbelief…my heart’s desire is to astonish Jesus with faith like that of the centurion (Mt. 6)!