3 Characteristics of Marvelous Faith

Brethren, did you know that there were two instances when the Gospel writers noted that Yahshua, or popularly known as Jesus Christ, marveled? Yes, that’s right. Once He marveled because of the unbelief of the people and the other instance, He marveled because of great faith.

In this message, I want to focus on the story where Yahshua marveled at the faith of the centurion. And in the process, I want to share with you the three characteristics of a marvelous faith.

We can read about this time when Yahshua marveled in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. To simplify our discussion, let’s read Matthew’s account and I’ll add some details from Luke’s account.

The Healing of the Centurion’s Servant Bible verses

Let’s start reading Matthew 8:5-13:

5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

In Luke 7:2, it says that the centurion’s servant is sick and ready to die. Luke further recorded that initially, it seems that the centurion sent first the elders of the Jews and then afterwards, the centurion himself personally approached Yahshua as we read in Matthew’s account.

Luke added that the centurion loves the Jewish nation and he has built a synagogue.

Going back to Matthew 8:7, we read about Christ’s response to the request of the centurion. 

7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

This is the story of the healing of the centurion’s servant. Now, this is the kind of faith that Yahshua would be amazed at. Imagine, having your faith commended and praised by no other than the Savior Himself. What a great honor and privilege it would be.

Because of this, brethren, I want us to study the faith of the centurion. What does it take to have a kind of faith that God would be amazed at? To answer that, let me give you three characteristics of a marvelous faith.

3 Characteristics of
Marvelous Faith
3 Characteristics of Marvelous Faith

Humble faith

The first characteristic of the centurion’s faith is humility. A centurion is a military commander who has authority over 100 soldiers. That’s why they are called centurions like how we understand the century, which means 100 years.

A man with this high status can easily be filled with pride and self-centeredness. Yet, we can see here the humility of the Roman commander. He approached Christ not for himself, but for his servant.

In a world of slavery, a servant is seen as mere property. It was common for Roman masters to mistreat their servants. When a servant becomes old and useless, they are simply left to die.

Yet, we see here that the nameless centurion considered his servant as someone who was dear to him. It takes a great deal of humility for a centurion to consider a lowly servant as someone special and close to the heart.

As we read through the story, there are more pieces of evidence that point to the humility of this high official. He told Yahshua, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof (Matthew 8:8).” He didn’t say, “Lord, my servant is not worthy that You should come to his room and heal him.”

In Luke 7:8, he also told Yahshua, “For I also am a man placed under authority.” He didn’t say, “For I also am a man placed in authority.”

As you can see, brethren, it takes humility to become faithful. The more humble you are, the more faithful you become. Faith resides in a humble heart. Where humility is, there you will find faith.

That’s why, if you want a faith that God and Yahshua would marvel at, then you need to be humble.

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Believing faith

The next characteristic of a marvelous faith is believing faith and I believe this is one of the most difficult characteristics to develop. 

We read in Hebrews 11:1 and 6:

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

The centurion came to God through His Son believing that Christ has the power to heal him. If he, as a centurion, has authority over his soldiers, he also believed that Christ has authority over diseases.

We read in Luke 7:8:

For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

Going back to Luke 7:7, we read about the great faith of this centurion. Notice:

7 Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.

What a powerful testament to the centurion’s faith. This man was so confident, so believing, and so trusting in Christ’s ability to heal, that he knew that just a single word could heal his servant. There’s no need for medicine. There’s no need for an operation. There’s no need for therapy.

For the centurion, there was no need to bring Yahshua and the patient together. They don’t need to see each other. There was no need for a physical examination. All it takes is just one word.

No wonder brethren that even Christ marveled at the centurion. That’s the type of trust and belief that builds strong faith.

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Tested faith

We now come to the third characteristic of a marvelous faith — tested faith. Let me tell you, faith becomes stronger when they are tested. Look at the most faithful servants of Yahweh in the Bible. All of them were tested. All of them went through trials and difficulties in life.

For the centurion, the type of faith that he had was developed over time. He didn’t wake up one morning and exclaimed, “I feel like I have a strong faith.” It took a lot of time, prayer, and trials to reach this level of faith.

In Luke 7:5, we read that the centurion loves the Jewish nation and he has built them a synagogue. There came a time in the centurion’s life when he encountered the God of Israel. He came to realize that the true living God wasn’t the Roman gods that he grew up with.

As a response to his newfound faith, he went through persecution and trials. He might have lost his long-time friends. He might have lost favor in the eyes of his superiors. He might have received ridicule not just from his Roman countrymen, but also from the Jews themselves!

Remember, the Jews consider the gentiles as dogs, unclean people, and enemies. You can just imagine the trouble, suffering, and pain this centurion went through just to develop this kind of faith.

Thus, when his dearly beloved servant was sick, it was another test of his faith. In Luke’s account, his servant was so sick that the servant was ready to die. The centurion’s faith was once again being tested and every test builds his spiritual muscles. Every trial increases his faith. Every problem helps him to trust in God even more.

That’s why, brethren, if you pray for God to increase your faith, don’t be surprised if you go through trials and difficulties, because that’s exactly how you will increase your faith. Yes, it’s difficult, but nothing in this world worth having is easy to obtain.

We read in 1 Peter 1:6-7:

6 In this you greatly rejoice [we don’t despair. We don’t get discouraged but we should rejoice, not just rejoice, but greatly rejoice], though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Isn’t that what happened to the centurion? His faith was tested and thus, his faith was found to praise honor, and glory and he received his highest commendation from Yahshua.

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Final words

When Yahshua saw the faith of the centurion, we read, “He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” Luke 7:9

Brethren, do you want to have marvelous faith? If yes, then don’t forget these three characteristics: humble faith, believing faith, and tested faith. It is my sincerest hope that you and I would have marvelous faith.

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