NOVEMBER 30

Amazed by Jesus

Bible Reading: John 1:1-14

John 1:14, “We have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

According to Webster’s dictionary, the term “amazed” means “to fill with wonder.”  The Greek word commonly translated “amazed” refers to “that alteration of the normal condition by which the person is thrown into a state of surprise or fear, or both” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary).  It is a term which is commonly used in the gospel accounts regarding the person and works of Jesus Christ.  Other synonyms such as “marvel” (“to cause to wonder”) and “astonish” are also used.

Jesus was no ordinary man.  He is the Divine Son of God who came in human flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1-3, 14).  The Apostle John testified concerning Him, “We have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  The God-man, Jesus Christ, was utterly unique and incomparable to any other man before or since.  In His utter “otherness” He amazed people.

He was amazing in His birth, having been born of a virgin.  His birth came in fulfillment of prophecy and was accompanied by angelic pronouncement.  Lowly shepherds and wise men were summoned by God as witnesses.  The shepherds reported what they had seen “and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them” (Luke 2:18).

He was amazing in His wisdom and understanding.  As a twelve-year-old boy he conversed with the teachers at the temple “and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:47).  A common response to His teaching was what happened at the end of His “Sermon on the Mount”: “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching” (Matthew 7:28).  Matthew chapter 22 records how His opponents, the Pharisees and Sadducees, questioned Jesus, seeking to trap him.  The Pharisees “marveled” at His response (Matthew 22:22).  The crowds “were astonished at his teaching” in His response to the Sadducees (Matthew 22:33).  And after all that took place that day, “no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions” (Luke 22:45).

He was amazing in His deeds.  The people were repeatedly amazed at the things that He did.  He cast out the demon from a mute man and “the crowds marveled, saying, ‘Never was anything like this seen in Israel’” (Matthew 9:33).  The “great crowds” saw all the miracles He was doing— “the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing”–and “wondered” and “glorified the God of Israel” (Matthew 15:30-31).  A healed blind man testified, “Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind” (John 9:32).  The disciples saw Him calm the winds and the waves and “marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and seas obey him’” (Matthew 8:27)?  The answer is, of course, that He is no ordinary man!

He was amazing in His speech.  Officers were sent by the chief priests and Pharisees to arrest Jesus but returned without him.  When asked why, they responded, “No one ever spoke like this man” (John 7:45).  He was full of grace and truth and spoke according to His nature (John 1:14).  Never a sinful word.  Never a misplaced word.  Never a word that didn’t perfectly meet the need of the moment.  He could speak the truth in love on one occasion to a self-righteous Pharisee (John Ch. 3) and just as easily turn around and address on another occasion the needs of a sinful Samaritan woman (John Ch. 4).  How gracious the words uttered from the Savior while dying on the cross in our stead!  From the cross, assailed by mocking insults, He spoke instead words of forgiveness and loving concern (1 Peter 2:22-23). 

He was amazing in His sinless perfection.  His life was perfect submission to the Father. He never thought a sinful thought, never did a sinful thing, and never uttered a sinful word.  He “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The greatest of God’s servants before or since have been flawed men.  Isaiah was a man of God and a prophet, but when his eyes were opened to the Holiness of God, he cried out, “Woe is me, for I am lost” (Isaiah 6:5).  But Jesus was unique from every other man who has ever walked on earth in this respect—He was and is altogether perfect in His holiness (1 John 2:29; Hebrews 7:26).  Even Pilate and the thief recognized His innocence (Matthew 27:23; Luke 23:41).

He was amazing in His death.  His death was unique in many respects, but especially in that He voluntarily gave up His life.  No one took His life from Him.  The beatings, the sufferings, the crucifixion did not kill Him.  He had previously stated, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord” (John 10:18).  When the time came, after He had declared His redemptive word complete by declaring “It is finished,” (then, and only then) he “bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30).  A Centurion was a witness to Jesus’ death.  He saw the “way he breathed his last… and said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God’” (Mark 15:39)!

He was amazing in His resurrection.  Jesus died, but death could not hold Him.  He rose from the dead.  “Very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, (the women) went to the tomb” (Mark 16:2).  They saw the stone rolled away, and the angel there, “and they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them” (Mark 16:8).  He rose from the dead and triumphed over sin and death and the devil himself.  And accomplished for us an amazing salvation.  Well did the hymnist write, “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean!”

He will be amazing in His return.  There are “unsearchable riches” bound up in the person of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).  The richness of His love “surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19).  In Him are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).  The “immeasurable greatness of His power” is at work in us to do “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 1:19, 3:20).  We can’t see Him now (1 Peter 1:8), but when He comes for us, He will be “marveled at among all who have believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:10). 

He was amazing in His birth, His person, His works, His words, His death, and His resurrection.  He is likewise amazing in His humility, His love, His salvation, and in every other way.  People were amazed by Him when he walked on this earth.  We are even now privileged and instructed to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:18).  But no matter how much we grow or how much we now know, we will nonetheless be utterly amazed on that Day when we will see Him just as He is (1 John 3:3).  To behold His glory, to be amazed by Jesus, is a blessed privilege given to those who have been born again (John 16:14; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:6)!  Jesus is amazing!  Consider Him so, and pay attention to His Word, seeking to know Him better “until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19)!

MY SAVIOR’S LOVE

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how he could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

Refrain:
How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be;
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden
He prayed, “Not my will, but thine;”
He had no tears for his own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine. [Refrain]

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them his very own;
He bore the burden to Calv’ry,
And suffered and died alone. [Refrain]

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
‘Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of his love for me. [Refrain]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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