Summary: The scribes and the skeptics were amazed at his teaching. The hungry and hurting were amazed by his miracles. An adulterer and her accusers were amazed by his love. But have you ever wondered what amazes Jesus? A single point sermon, powerpoint and video.
Amazing Jesus (1)
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 1/5/2014
• VIDEO: Are You Amazed?
He really is amazing, isn’t he? Whether you’ve been a part of the Blooming Grove family for years or you’re still just testing the waters, my prayer is that you would be amazed by Jesus every time you worship here.
The scribes and the skeptics were amazed at his teaching. The hungry and hurting were amazed by his miracles. An adulterer and her accusers were amazed by his love. The Bible assures us that when Christ comes again all the people who have believed will be amazed at Jesus.
But have you ever wondered what amazes Jesus? What might astonish the most astonishing person who ever lived? What could boggle the infinite mind of the God-Man? What could leave the Living Word speechless?
The Gospels record two moments when Jesus was amazed.
The first of them is found in Mark 6. Jesus had just completed a whirlwind tour across much of northern Israel. He amazed his disciples by calming the wind and waves on Lake Galilee. He amazed the Ten Towns of the Gersenes by casting a legion of demons into a herd of swine. He amazed a disease ridden woman who was healed the instant she touched his cloak. His last stop was the home of Jarius, whose daughter had died earlier that day. But death wouldn’t stop Jesus. He took the little girl’s hand and whispered in her ear, “Little girl, get up.” Immediately the girl rose and walked and the Bible says, “They were overwhelmed and totally amazed” (Mark 5:42 NLT).
Jesus was amazing everyone he encountered. But then the Bible says, “Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown” (Mark 6:1 NLT). Perhaps he was tired from all his travels and just wanted to sit in that comfortable rocking chair his father carved. Maybe his mom had been nagging him to come home and visit for a while. Or maybe he returned home for one of the many Hebrew holidays or family festivals. Whatever his reasons were, there’s always something special about going home—the comfort, the familiarity of it all.
But much had changed since Jesus left Nazareth. He left alone and a carpenter. He returned a famous rabbi with a whole entourage of disciples. His reputation preceded him because, that Saturday, the local rabbi abdicates his pulpit and invites Jesus to speak. So Jesus now has the opportunity to preach in the church he grew up in. The Bible says, “The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, ‘Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?’” (Mark 6:2 NLT).
Here Jesus was, back in his hometown, preaching to the same people who watched him play in the dirt as a child, who saw him struggle through puberty, who witnessed the grief in his eyes when his earthly father died, and they were amazed. They were amazed at his words, his wisdom and the wonders he could perform. It was obvious that there was something special about this home-town hero.
Two millennia later, Jesus is no less amazing. The most amazing event in human history was the coming of Jesus into this world. The most amazing words ever spoken were his words. The most amazing deeds ever done were accomplished by his hands. The most amazing gift ever offered was his blood on the cross.
More songs have been sung of him, artwork created of him, and books written about him than anyone who has ever lived. Jesus looms so large over human history that we actually measure time by him; we date our letters, our birth certificates, our checks, and everything else from the year of his birth. Jesus stands alone in all of history—the single most amazing person who ever lived. I’ve always loved what the would-be world conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte, once wrote about Jesus:
Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit awes me and his will confounds me. Between him and whoever else in the world, there is no possible comparison. He is truly a being by himself. One can absolutely find nowhere but in him alone the imitation or example of his life. I search in vain in history to find anyone similar to Jesus Christ, or anything which can approach his gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature offer me anything which I am able to compare him or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary.
Extraordinary. Astonishing. Amazing. Jesus is all that and more. But no matter how amazing something or someone is, there will always be critics and complainers. It’s like the story Charles Swindoll tells in his book “Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.” A farmer wanted to impress his hunting buddies, so he bought the smartest, most expensive hunting dog he could find. He trained this dog to do things no other dog on earth could do—impossible feats that would surely amaze anyone. Then he invited his buddies to go duck hunting with him. After a long patient wait in the boat a group of ducks flew over and the hunters were able to make a few hits. Several ducks fell in the water. “Go get 'em!” shouted the proud owner. The dog leaped out of the boat, walked on the water, picked up a bird and returned to the boat. Beaming with pride, the man turned to his fellow hunters and said, “So what don’t you think?” One of them looked at him cross-eyed and spouted, “Boy you sure got ripped off. You spent all that money on a dog that doesn’t even know how to swim!”