It was a typical Sabbath day when Jesus and His disciples entered the synagogue. The people gathered together to hear the Scriptures read and taught. Nothing was out of the ordinary, except for the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had entered. I doubt many would have thought that their lives would be drastically changed on that Sabbath day. However, when Jesus began to teach the Word of God, they quickly realized they were witnessing something extremely astounding.
Mark tells us that as Jesus stood up to read and teach the Scriptures the people were utterly astounded. They had never heard the Word of God taught in such a way. Although Mark doesn’t tell us what Jesus preached that day, he does tell us how. He taught the people in such a way that they were left astonished. He taught unlike any scribe had ever taught before. Jesus taught the only way that He could-with authority.
Jesus taught the people with such clarity and conviction, not relying on previous traditions, but as one who was in essence the revealed Word of God. The teaching of Christ on that day left the people breathless. As Jesus was teaching the people on that day, they marveled. You could hear a pin drop on the synagogue floor as the Word of God poured out of the Son of God. This was truly amazing.
Yet, the silence would be quickly interrupted as a deafening scream exploded off the walls. Who is screaming? Where did it come from? People no doubt jumped in fear as the shriek filled the room; it was deafening. As the Son of God was teaching, a man overcome with an unclean spirit cried out and confronted Jesus.
This man was overcome with a demon. Once the demon had come into the presence of the Divine Son of God, he was involuntarily exposed; he had to lash out. “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” was his response. “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy one of God” he added.
In a moment of unmatched power, Jesus responded, “Be silent, and come out of him!” As the demon heard the command of Christ, he convulsed the man violently before making his exit from the synagogue. There was no struggle; no negotiation. Jesus had heard enough and with a swift and overpowering command, He expelled the demon from this man.
The people in attendance on that day marveled saying, “A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” Their response is what we might expect-they talked. Mark tells us “at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee (Mark 1:28).” These people had to tell others about what they had just seen and heard.
I wonder, if today, we share this same sentiment. I wonder if we marvel at this Jesus. These people heard the Son of God teach the Word of God and they were amazed. Are we amazed when we hear and read the Word of God? Granted, we don’t have Jesus Christ in the flesh teaching from behind our pulpits, but do we savor the Word of God? Do we marvel at the fact that the Holy God, who created everything by the word of His power, desires to make Himself known to us? Do we marvel at His revelation, which has been revealed to us? When we open our Bibles, does amazement overcome us? Do we realize that we are reading the very Word of God?
I wonder if Jesus were to preach in our pulpits on Sunday morning for hours, would we listen with awe or would we constantly be checking our watches waiting for the time to leave?
I wonder, today, if we are amazed by the authority of Christ. Are we amazed at His power to cast out demons? Are we continuously amazed at the fact that Jesus has released us from the oppression which sought to destroy our lives? I wonder if we are amazed that by Grace, through faith, in Christ, God has released us from the bondage which enslaved us. I wonder if we marvel at the fact that the same power which raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. Do we marvel at the fact that as Christians, we are no longer enslaved to sin, but free in Christ?
I wonder if this gospel truth so grips our hearts and minds that we are filled with joy every time we recount it. I wonder if we are continuously amazed by the gospel or if our hearts have become hardened to it? Do our hearts melt with gratitude when we consider the overwhelming truth that we have been saved from God, by God, and for God?
I wonder, if today, we are amazed enough to take what we have seen and heard to others. We spend our time eagerly talking about sports, the economy, politics, our jobs, families, and latest news, but do we burn with that same intensity to share the greatest news ever recorded? Are our hearts overcome with such amazement that we have been saved by grace to the point that we can’t help but speak of what we have seen and heard?
I wonder, if today, we are filled with awe and fear for the Lord Jesus Christ. Are we terrified by such a Holy God and yet astonished by such a gracious Savior? This Christ is preeminent in all things. By Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the church. He is the beginning. In Him, the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. He casts out demons. He walks on water. He heals the lepers. He causes the blind to see. He raises the dead. He causes the lame to walk. He was crushed for our iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. This is Jesus.
Do we marvel at Him today? May it be so.
Soli Deo Gloria
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