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It really was amazing. Think about the sacrifices that these four men made to follow Jesus - someone they had never met before in their lives. They gave up family, friends, home, careers. All for the sake of responding to a call from Jesus. Think about this for a second. How much are we willing to sacrifice in order to respond to Jesusí call upon our lives? How much? An hour a week? A few dollars in the collection plate? Thatís wonderful. We do that today. But what are we willing to offer to Jesus tomorrow and into next week? How are we going to respond to Jesus on Thursday morning at 10:00 when we hear Jesus calling us? How are we going to live our faith 24 hours a day, seven days a week? A faith only lived for an hour or so on Sunday isnít really a faith; itís a habit perhaps, or a tradition, but not a faith! Itís a good question, isnít it. What will we offer of ourselves in order to follow Jesus? Does Jesus amaze us enough that weíre willing to sacrifice for him?
But the amazing story continued. It wasnít just these four who were amazed by him. Jesus arrived at the synagogue in Capernaum and began to teach. And the people who heard him were amazed. Jesusí teaching was different. It was like nothing they had ever heard before. He spoke with authority. He didnít argue with people; he didnít try to convince or cajole; he didnít lay guilt trips; he didnít depend on the authority of the religious leaders and teachers to back up his position. None of that for Jesus. He simply spoke. He didnít lecture the people or enter into debate; he simply proclaimed the word of God, as if - the nerve of him! - his words alone were sufficient. Which, of course, they were. And the people noticed the difference. This man spoke with confidence and with authority. This was someone to be listened to. The people were amazed. (Just as an aside, of course, itís in this incident in the Capernaum synagogue when the jealousy of the religious leaders toward Jesus probably began. Verse 22 says, ď... he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.Ē Undoubtedly, the scribes - the religious teachers and leaders - were as aware as any of the others gathered in that synagogue that Jesus was speaking with an authority they had never dreamed of possessing.)
Now, weíve seen the amazement of the first four disciples. Weíve seen the amazement of the people who gathered and heard Jesus in the synagogue at Capernaum. Weíve been able to deduce the amazement of the religious teachers who heard him and were moved to jealousy. They were all amazed by Jesus. But one question remains - a very important question. What is it about Jesus that amazes us? Is it the call of Jesus upon our lives?
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