“I haven’t seen faith like this is all Israel!”

Question:

In Matthew 8:10 Jesus said that:”… I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!”  Since Jesus is God he’s been present since the be beginning of all time, does that mean the there’s never been somebody in Israel with faith like this officer?

Answer:

There are two things going on in this question.  One is a question of Jesus’ omnipresence (presence everywhere all the time), and one is a question of the centurion’s faith.  But what is the verse about?  That is the most important thing.

Jesus uses the Centurion as an example of great faith.

There is no doubt from scripture that Jesus was omnipresent God, present from before the very beginning.  In John 8:58 Jesus says, “before Abraham was born, I am”.  This is not only a statement of Jesus’ deity, but of his presence all places at all time.  But Matthew 8:10 is not a moment where Jesus is trying to emphasize his omnipresence, rather it is a moment where he is trying to emphasize the centurion’s great faith.  The response of people hearing Jesus say these words would not have been, “wow, this guy must really be faithful because Jesus is God and he would really know who the most faithful person in history is.”  No, their response would have been, “really?!?! a gentile? a roman centurion has greater faith then a jew?!?”  Jesus statement has shock value because he is not only pointing out that a non-Jew can have real faith, but he is also indicting the Jew’s around him who have not seen him for who he really is.  Instead, the least likely of people has correctly identified Jesus as the God and Lord that he is.


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2 Responses to ““I haven’t seen faith like this is all Israel!””

  1. Evan Says:

    I would also add the uniqueness of this passage is that the centurion is not just a gentile but most Jews would consider him an ENEMY, the most vile detestable kind of gentile!

    But yet, you have Jesus publicly announcing to the crown that this “evil Goy” has more faith than all the Jews!!!

    This is part of the major theme/message behind Matthew (written for the Jews), Jesus again is revealing to the Jews that again they missed the message of the Old Testament that just obeying the laws does not constitute faith or righteousness before God (Sermon on the Mount). Also, that the gospel message is not only for the Jews but gentiles as well.

  2. Simon Says:

    ok to use hyperbole to make a point. Maybe it was a saying like, “I’m going to kill you” used as a term to say, “you have upset me, and I wish you some type of harm, but not necessarily death.”

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