Alaska’s summer brings much to marvel about. The size of the fish caught; wasn’t that a huge halibut caught near Pelican? The size of the red run; I hope you got your supply of sockeye. The newborn moose calves nearly double their size and weight, the long hours of daylight, and the list goes on. These marvels continue into August and the fall; northern lights show up, meteorite showers appear, garden growth is harvested, and so on.
Many times in the Bible people marveled at God’s great works. Astonishment and awe were caused by his marvelous acts.
Jesus did miracles and brought healing to many. The lame and lepers walked about freely, a dead man walked out of his tomb, the blind saw and the deaf heard. They could all reflect on what the psalmist said, “this is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes.”
After the resurrection of Jesus, the people of Jerusalem marveled at the outpouring of the Spirit of God. A prophecy eight centuries old was fulfilled as people were filled with the Spirit. Those who witnessed it “were all amazed and marveled” as reported in Acts 2:7.
The gospels record that Jesus marveled as well.
One instance was when a centurion demonstrated faith for his servant’s healing. He didn’t think it necessary for Jesus to make the journey to see his servant. “Speak the word only,” he told Jesus. As a centurion in the Roman army, he understood authority and its power. He believed the Lord could just say the words and the healing would be done. Jesus marveled at “so great faith.” He told the centurion, “Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.” His servant was healed in the same hour.
The other time Jesus marveled was in his hometown of Nazareth. People were astonished at his teaching in the synagogue. They recognized him as the son of Mary, along with his brothers and sisters. They could not acknowledge him as the miracle worker because they still thought of him as a carpenter. Jesus “marveled because of their unbelief.” Mark explained in his gospel why there were only a few healed at that time, “he could there do no mighty work.” Unbelief hindered the miracles.
Faith and unbelief are opposites, and they produce opposite results. One will eliminate the other. The Bible inspires faith, as John wrote in John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
As we marvel at God’s creation and his spiritual works, especially “so great salvation,” let’s make sure Jesus marvels at our faith and not unbelief. Jesus is still doing marvelous acts today, and he will respond to your faith.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study and children’s church are at 7:00 p.m.