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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Fellowship With God FEBRUARY 1


The centurion answered and said, Lord, . . . speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. . . . When Jesus heard it, he marvelled. Matt. 8:8-10.

Only twice in the Gospels is it said of Jesus that He marveled: when the centurion responded to His promise to come and heal his servant (see Matt. 8:5-10), and at the unbelief of His own kinsmen and neighbors in the city of Nazareth (see Mark 17:4, 6).

The case of the Roman centurion is significant. He did not belong to the Jewish race. He had no religious background or education that we know of. Yet he exercised a faith that was not found in Israel. In the case of Jesus' hometown folks, they never seemed to be able to get over the fact that He had grown up among them. They were not impressed by what they knew about Him. They had associated with Him for thirty years. They had seen His spotless life, His character of love and obedience. They lacked the spiritual insight to recognize Him as the Messiah, the Son of God. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not" (John 1:11).

The Bible does not record that Christ marveled at the miracles He wrought. When He healed the man born blind, when He raised Lazarus from the dead, these seemed to Him to be the most natural thing to expect. We ourselves marvel when we see miracles of body healing, a restoration to physical health. We tend to be more impressed by these external manifestations than by the spiritual restoration of a diseased mind and sinful spirit. People are far more impressed by outward wonders. It was not so with Christ.. He marveled at people's lack of faith.

What we marvel at is an indication of the kind of person we are. What really impresses us? What captures our attention and interest? We stand overwhelmed by the tragedies of life. "Why does God not do something?" we ask. But our great need is the miracle of spiritual rebirth and transformation. Not the loss of property, health, money, or position is our greatest concern. Far above all these things is a divine course of limitless spiritual power adequate for every test and crisis.

Because faith in Christ means so much for our salvation and daily living, He marvels when we readily exercise it.

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