Overwhelmed with amazement
“People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well,’ they said. ‘He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’” NIV
Jesus always caused a stir when He taught and ministered. The one constant reaction to His presence was amazement. To be amazed is to be filled with wonder and surprise, to be astonished. That word actually appears more than thirty times in the four Gospels. It records that people were utterly amazed, completely amazed, overwhelmed with amazement.
They were amazed by His teaching, amazed by His miracles, amazed by His authority, amazed by His wisdom and understanding, amazed by His gracious words, and amazed at the greatness of God because of Him.
They went away saying: “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:12); “We have seen remarkable things today” (Luke 5:26); “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel” (Matthew 9:33). There was always then this sense of awe and utter amazement wherever Jesus went.
I can’t help feeling that we have very largely lost that sense of awe and wonder of Jesus today. Yes, we acknowledge Him as Lord and Saviour. Yes, we know from Scripture that He heals and has great power and authority. Yes, we believe in Him, we praise Him and worship Him. But where is our wonder and amazement of Him?
Have we become too blasé about Him? Have we become too familiar with Him that He no longer excites and amazes us? Has religion taken over to such an extent that our relationship with Him is now so routine that we go through the motions – praise and prayer and fellowship – without any sense of awe that we are actually communing with the awesome, amazing, Son of God Himself? Are we too busy, too preoccupied with other things to take the time to encounter Him and be amazed by Him? Have we settled for a passionless Christianity?
How will we convince the world that this Jesus we serve is so awesome when we ourselves are not in awe of Him?
Or have we just never encountered the Son of God the way that the people in His day encountered Him? Have we come to Christianity through merely “accepting” Him – giving verbal assent to His deity – without a corresponding experience of Him?
During the great revivals people who encountered the Living God were utterly driven to repentance. They didn’t “accept” Christ; they cried bitter tears and pleaded with God to “accept” them, to have mercy on them. It was said that when David Brainerd preached in revival, the whole forest around his camp was filled with the cries and moaning of penitent sinners pleading with God for mercy. And when they encountered Him as Saviour, there was such a great release from the burden of sin that they were forever changed. They met the amazing Son of God, and they were forever amazed by Him.
Of course, we live by faith but faith that does not lead us to encounter the wonder and awe of Jesus is incomplete, too distant and disengaged from the utterly amazing Son of God. Faith that doesn’t ambush us with awe of God or take our breath away as we suddenly run into His presence or set our hearts racing when He makes His word come alive in our hearts is perhaps faith that has grown stale.
Let us cry out to the Holy Spirit to live each day in wonder and awe of the Son of God, to be amazed by the whisper of His voice in our ears, by the sense of His presence, by the amazing things He does in us and through us for His glory. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to so fill us with passion for the Son of God that we will inspire everyone we come into contact with to yearn to know the amazing Son of God whom we serve.