Thursday, April 20, 2023
“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” (Luke 7:9 KJV).
What marvels the Lord?
The Lord Jesus Christ was shocked when His very neighbors and acquaintances—among whom He had grown up and lived for some 20-plus years—were the very people who had no meaningful understanding of whom He actually was (re-read Mark 6:1-6). “And he marvelled because of their unbelief.” How difficult it was for Him to fathom that, despite all that He had said and done in their presence, the outcome was prevailing unbelief. In no uncertain terms, He had presented His credentials, but these Jewish people still declined to believe on Him as Messiah!
He had also been surprised to hear a profession of faith from a pagan Gentile military official! “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” (today’s Scripture; cf. Matthew 8:10). This Roman’s people had not been given the Hebrew Bible. Jesus was certainly not his Messiah, but Israel’s Messiah, yet he had profound insight concerning this spiritual truth (re-read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10). Here is what stunned Christ.
In these accounts we have the “marvelling” Messiah, for the Jewish people (with the Bible) are in unbelief but a Gentile man (without the Bible) is willing to believe! Similarly, we in grace ministry are dazed at our present paradox. The people who have attended American “Christian” church services their entire lives usually have no appreciation for Bible truth, yet there is unrestricted access to the Bible (with the Bible). There is no sincere interest in sound doctrine, though, for only entertainment and emotions are the priority. Yet, we can venture out to the foreign lands where the Scriptures are banned, burned, and limited (without the Bible). These souls are so hungry and desperate for the truth, and they gladly receive even a partial Bible or the most basic Gospel tract. What a tragic state of affairs, another testament that human nature has not changed one whit in 20 centuries!