Encouragement for Today
“And They Were Amazed”
Matthew , “Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ they asked.” (NIV)
When was the last time something truly amazed you? I’ve been amazed lately at the price of gas, at the size of my clothes, and at a teenager’s driving as he cuts me off in traffic. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to say I’ve been shocked and disgusted rather than amazed.
True amazement, the kind that’s mixed with surprise and awe, is a rare emotion. First-time parents experience amazement when their baby starts to crawl. That quickly turns to fear as their precious one crawls toward an electrical outlet, but for a moment they are amazed.
Maybe advances in technology have dulled our capacity for amazement. A television screen the size of a whale barely elicits a “wow.” A thousand songs in a matchbox-sized container isn’t enough. More! More! We want more!
Maybe a lack of integrity has dimmed amazement at our leaders, or maybe the press has simply revealed weaknesses that were always there. Nature still has the power to amaze, but lines of tourists and scattered trash can sour our experience. People, places, things. Is there anything left to incite amazement?
Flash back two thousand years. A humble man teaches to a gathered crowd, and they were amazed. He drives out a demon, and a mute man speaks and everyone was amazed (Matt. ). He heals the crippled, a lame man walks and a blind man sees (Matt.15:31). He tells the people to pay their taxes, and they are amazed (Matt. ). He calms the storm and completely amazes His friends (Mark ). Basically, Jesus was amazing.
Today, Jesus is still amazing, and miracles are still being done in His Name. Jesus Himself made it clear that He hoped His disciples would continue what He started. In John Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Scripture tells us in light of the amazing things Jesus said and did, people praised God (Luke -26). Yet, in spite of the potential for people to be drawn to God by the amazing things they hear and see today, we allow religion to become routine and we keep Jesus tucked away in a history book.
As believers, we are called to portray to the world a God who is truly amazing. May our mouths speak God’s truth in a gracious and compelling way. May our lives model the excitement of walking daily with God. And may miracles still be performed in the Name of Jesus.
Let’s amaze the world by telling them about a God who still has the power to amaze!
My Prayer for Today:
Precious Lord, You are amazing in all Your ways. You are clothed in majesty and worthy of all our praise. Thank you for the record of Jesus’ life and for His promise that we can do greater things. Help my unbelief. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Think of one amazing thing God has done in your life. Commit to telling at least one person about it.
Read Matthew 13:53-58. Jesus is in His hometown. Although the people are amazed, they also experience another reaction. What is it?
Why do those who know us best have a hard time accepting truth from us?
What hindered Jesus’ performance of miracles?
Why do we sometimes miss how amazing God really is?
How can you change your life so that others see more of the amazing things of God through you?
Habakkuk 1:5, “Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (NIV)
Hebrews 12:28-29, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’" (NIV)
Mark 6:50-51, “Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is
Luke 4:22, “Allspoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.”Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.” (NIV)
Luke 5:25-26, “Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’" (NIV)
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