The question of when we will be gathering together again has been the subject of much prayer and discussion by our church’s leadership. We are asking God for wisdom as we attempt to follow the guidelines of New York State and New York City regarding the timing for reopening our church campus. At the same time, we are making plans and putting protocols in place to ensure your safety and well-being when we are able to meet again. Stay tuned for updates as more information becomes available.  

In the meantime, we hope that you will continue to join us for Tuesday Prayer Onlinebeginning at 7pm; Sunday Worship Online, beginning at 9am; and weekday Devotions Onlinebeginning at 10am. We also invite you to check the Churchwide Announcements on our home page to learn about additional online events for each member of your family.

What Amazed Jesus

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at [the centurion], and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.’” (Luke 7:9 NIV)

What do you think it would take to amaze Jesus?  After all, through him the world and all humanity were created in the first place.  He has forever existed in heaven itself.  While on earth, was there anything that impressed him to the point of exclaiming, “That’s really something!  Wow!”  Never in any chapter of the four Gospels was Jesus astounded by anybody’s righteousness.  After all, he was entirely pure and holy himself.  Never was he impressed with anyone’s wisdom or education.  Never did he say, “Boy, Matthew sure is smart, isn’t he?  I really picked out a financial genius there.”

But he was amazed by one thing:  people’s faith.

When he told the Roman centurion he would go to his house to heal his servant, and the centurion said not to bother but just to speak the word of healing, Jesus “was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel’” (Luke 7:9).  The Jewish listeners probably didn’t appreciate being outclassed by this Roman, but that is the way it happened, regardless.

When another “foreigner,” a Canaanite woman, came pleading on behalf of her demon-possessed daughter and wouldn’t take no for an answer, Jesus exclaimed at last, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted” (Matthew 15:28).

On the other hand, when he went back to his hometown of Nazareth, where he had grown up, “he could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.  And he was amazed at their lack of faith” (Mark 6:5-6).  You can be sure that no sickness was too extreme, no demon too powerful for the Son of the living God.  But on that particular day in Nazareth, his hands were tied by their unbelief.  In fact, he laid down this statement as a first principle:  “According to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29).

We can’t twist the story theologically by saying, “Well, maybe it wasn’t God’s will for him to heal those folks in Nazareth.”  The text gives no indication of that.  It clearly says the Son of God was limited that day.

Faith alone is the trigger that releases divine power.  As Peter wrote, it is “through faith [that we] are shielded by God’s power” (1 Peter 1:5).  Our trying, struggling, or promising won’t work—faith is what God is after. Faith is the key to our relationship with him.

-Pastor Cymbala (excerpted from Fresh Faith)

Read Luke 7:1-10Matthew 15:21-28.

The Prayer Center