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One way or another, you astonish Jesus!

Rev Enoch Thompson | March 8, 2023 | Matthew 8:5-13


When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. Matthew 8:10 (NIV)


Astonish Jesus, is that possible? Yes, it is, and that in itself is astonishing, for the Lord knows all things. Our text shows us that when the centurion expressed his faith in the Lord Jesus, in His authority, in His capability to heal and to heal from a distance, the Lord Jesus was astonished. To astonish someone is to make them impressed with something good we have done, or to surprise them for something wrong we have done. Astonishment arises out of earlier impressions or expectations we hold of the people concerned. And so, the Lord was astonished (impressed) with the barriers that the centurion pulled down to express such faith in Him.

In Mark 6:1-6 we have another Gospel narrative in which (in verse 6) the Lord Jesus was astonished. In this case, it was the people of His hometown, Nazareth, who astonished Him. They questioned His teachings and His miraculous power, making reference to His family, His ordinariness among them as a simple carpenter, and they were offended at Him, loaded with unbelief. As a result of their unbelief, “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” Mark 6:5 (NIV). The Lord was astonished that His countrymen who had the Law and the Prophets and the promises concerning the Messiah could not see Messiah in their midst, and could not understand God’s visitation among them, but measured by human standards and underestimated the God-in-human-flesh among them.

These are the only two instances in the Gospels that we read of the Lord being astonished. In Matthew 8 the Lord is astonished by a Gentile’s faith which released the blessing of healing intended for all humanity, whereas in Mark 6 the lack of faith on the part of Jews resulted in the Lord not being able to work out miracles among descendants of Abraham for whom there was a standing line of credit which should have released much more blessings upon them.

The Lord has expectations of us in our various situations, and how we act, react, or respond, often astonishes Him. The Lord is not only astonished (impressed or surprised, as the case may be) in the matter of our expression of faith, but in our attitudes, behaviour, conversation, and what we fail to do or choose to do.


Imagine the Lord observing your life and being astonished. Determine to astonish the Lord positively by choosing, despite the challenges of your circumstances to show your faith in Him by living according to His word. One way or the other you astonish the Lord!


Lord, I may not see how I have shocked you by my wrong choices and behaviour, but I now acknowledge that I sometimes astonish you rudely. Please help me to live by faith in you and in your word, and may I be so changed by that word, that I may be a wonder to the devil and a joy to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



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