How to Impress Jesus

By: Barry Williams
Have you ever stopped to think what it would take to truly impress Jesus? I mean, He created everything that ever was! He existed before all things and holds everything together (Col. 1:17) so could there really be anything here on earth that would honestly impress or amaze Him?

We tend to be most impressed with things like courage, talent or skill. Whether it’s discovering electricity, putting a man on the moon or Tom Brady’s 7 Super Bowl rings, we are drawn to outstanding performance. I mean, even the Dude Perfect guys can still transport me to that wide-eyed amazement of a little kid! Sadly, as a result, we spend ourselves trying to perform. But according to Luke, it wasn’t any of those things that caught Jesus’ attention.

You see, it was never anyone’s performance or even their righteousness that impressed Jesus. He was never impressed with their knowledge of Scripture or even their obedience. No, the one thing that got His attention was people’s faith.

In Luke chapter 7, we learn about one of only two times in all of Scripture that says Jesus “marveled” at something. And what He marveled at just might surprise you.

We’re introduced to a certain Roman centurion and quickly learn that he had a servant who had become deathly sick. When this centurion heard that Jesus had come to his town, He asked the Jewish leaders to go on his behalf and ask Jesus if He would heal his slave.

But when the Roman centurion was told that Jesus was coming to his house, he quickly sent his friends to tell Jesus that he didn’t need to bother coming in person. He says, “I’m not even worthy” to have you under my roof and instead suggests that Jesus could just “say the word” and that would be enough—because he knew Jesus was also a man “set under authority” (v. 8).
It was at this response, Luke tells us, that Jesus “marveled”. In fact, so much so that Jesus immediately turned the crowd following him and said “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith!”

You see, this man had connected the dots about who Jesus was in a way that the others Jesus encountered, even his disciples, had not fully figured out.

The centurion recognized that Jesus was working from a position of authority. Being a man also under authority, he quickly connected the truth that along with Jesus’ authority came the power necessary to do the job. He knew that all that was needed was a command and it would be done.

The centurion’s amazing faith wasn’t grounded in his ability to impress Jesus with his own status, knowledge, good works, or even his obedience. It was grounded in more than just an optimistic hope. It was even based on more than a belief that Jesus could in fact perform miracles. It was grounded in the person and position of Jesus himself.

It is understanding this truth that anchors us to God and gives us the kind of mountain moving, storm surviving, enduring faith that Jesus so desired for them and for us to have.

Isn’t it interesting that we never actually see the details of the miraculous healing of the servant play out? I can’t help but wonder if that’s because of our tendency to be impressed by lesser things like healings instead of the one thing that Jesus marveled over: an amazing faith.

How is your faith doing today?
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