Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.
Such great faith. The centurion had a revelation of Jesus that was greater than most. “Just say the word.”
It’s a mistake to conclude that the size of our faith matters or that we need more faith before we can access the grace of God. Even a small mustard-seed amount of faith is enough to move mountains (Matt. 17:20). We don’t need more faith as much as we need a deeper revelation of God’s love for us. It is his goodness that inspires us to trust him.
See entry for Faith.
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
(a) Why are you afraid? Fear is a faith-killer. This is why we need to feed our faith and starve our fears. We do this by reminding ourselves of what God had said. If the disciples had remembered that Jesus said they were going to the other side (Mark 4:35), they would not have feared drowning.
(b) You men of little faith. Great fear indicates little or no faith. Jesus is not saying the disciples need big faith to survive storms. He’s saying they had no faith (Mark 4:40). “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25). He’s encouraging them to trust in his word and fear not.
(c) Rebuked. Jesus rebuked the wind and the word used (epitimao) is the same Greek word that is used when Jesus rebuked the devil (Matt. 17:18) and various demons (e.g., Mark 1:25). This has led some to conclude that the storm was demonic in nature. However, the Bible never says this and we risk glorifying the devil by attributing to him powers he may not have.
In the poetry of the prophets, it is the Lord who is ultimately credited with the wonders of nature (e.g., Jer. 10:13, 51:16). Just as it is wrong to blame the devil, it is equally misguided to think that all the storms that come our way were sent by God to test us. The story rather illustrates the power we have in Christ to still the storms of life.
See entry for Faith.
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