Surprising Jesus with Faith: Luke 7:1-10

Focus Passage: Luke 7:1-10 (GNT)

When Jesus had finished saying all these things to the people, he went to Capernaum. A Roman officer there had a servant who was very dear to him; the man was sick and about to die. When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his servant. They came to Jesus and begged him earnestly, “This man really deserves your help. He loves our people and he himself built a synagogue for us.”

So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the officer sent friends to tell him, “Sir, don’t trouble yourself. I do not deserve to have you come into my house, neither do I consider myself worthy to come to you in person. Just give the order, and my servant will get well. I, too, am a man placed under the authority of superior officers, and I have soldiers under me. I order this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; I order that one, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and I order my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

Jesus was surprised when he heard this; he turned around and said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, I have never found faith like this, not even in Israel!”

10 The messengers went back to the officer’s house and found his servant well.

Read Luke 7:1-10 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

In Jesus’ entire ministry on earth, one event stands out in His mind as an example of great faith. Jesus even draws our attention to how extraordinary it really was. Our passage actually says the level of faith demonstrated “surprised” Jesus.

In this event, a Roman officer sends a message to Jesus that a servant of his is sick and about to die, and he requests Jesus’ help. Matthew shares that the officer came to Jesus personally, while Luke actually points us to this officer actually sending some of the Jewish elders from the local synagogue with the request to Jesus.

But when Jesus accepts the request and starts towards the officer’s house, another message is sent with a message that Jesus does not need to come personally, but simply delegate the healing to be done like he gives tasks and responsibilities to the officers below him.

Jesus was surprised when he heard this; he turned around and said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, I have never found faith like this, not even in Israel!’” (v. 9)

The level of faith this Roman officer demonstrated is extraordinary. He likely had never met Jesus personally, and so he only had rumors and reports about Jesus to go on. But these were enough for him to know that Jesus was capable of healing his servant.

The Roman officer also realized that Jesus’ healing was not His own ability, but something that He only had because God (or the gods) looked favorably on Him. In this way, the Roman officer knew that Jesus wouldn’t need to come personally, but simply speak the command – and that when He did, God would do what Jesus had requested.

This is the basis for the Roman officer’s faith – and Jesus calls it extraordinary. The officer didn’t need Jesus present or in person and he didn’t need to see it personally. All he needed was a message back saying that the servant would be made well.

Our passage concludes by saying in verse 10, “The messengers went back to the officer’s house and found his servant well.” Before the messengers could even make it back to the house, the servant was healed. Extraordinary faith results in extraordinary healing.

This Roman officer is a model for the faith we should have. We haven’t seen Jesus in person – but we do know what He can do from the reports (gospels) that we can read. We are unworthy to have Jesus even pay attention to us – but we know that He loves us even though we don’t deserve it. We don’t need to see to believe – we simply should have faith that what we ask Jesus to do will be done according to God’s will. Just like this Roman officer did, you and I can live a life that shows an extraordinary level of faith that can even surprise Jesus! It starts by believing without needing to see with our own eyes.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

Subscribe to this blog and never miss an insight.