Summary: The word, ‘amaze’ means ‘to fill somebody with wonder or astonishment’. To fill someone with wonder or astonishment means there is a great degree of admiration or awe. Amazement, astonishment, wonder, awe, these are words used to describe Jesus. But what
ARE YOU AMAZED?
MEDITATION: Baseball season is fast approaching. I like the Mets. When the Mets won the World Series in 1969 they were dubbed, ‘the Amazing Mets’. Up until that year, the Mets didn’t have one winning season to their credit. The team they were facing in the series, the Baltimore Orioles, who had won 109 games that year, were heavy favorites. No one thought the Mets would win more than one game. Instead, it was the Orioles who would win only one game. But, however amazing the Mets were, there’s something even more amazing than the Mets. No, it’s not the Yankees; it’s Jesus. Play 5:00 video clip. INTRODUCTION: The word, ‘amaze’ means ‘to fill somebody with wonder or astonishment’. To fill someone with wonder or astonishment means there is a great degree of admiration or awe. Amazement, astonishment, wonder, awe, these are words used to describe Jesus. But what is so amazing about Jesus? Let’s find out. There are many things that are amazing about Jesus but I’m going to highlight just a few today.
1) His teaching is amazing.
• His teaching is amazing because it has authority. In Matt. 5-7 Jesus delivers what is known as the Sermon on the Mount. In this discourse, Jesus had some radical concepts to convey. Love your enemies instead of hating them. Bless those who persecute you instead of getting even with them. He talked about building up treasures in heaven instead of focusing on acquiring treasures here on earth. He taught how sin isn’t just an act but that it starts in the heart and mind. He tackled subjects like worrying and judging others. He educated people on giving, prayer and fasting. And the people were amazed. Matt. 7:28-29, “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” The teachers of the law spoke with human authority. Jesus, however, spoke with divine authority. These teachings were something that the people hadn’t heard before. And that from someone whom they wouldn’t have expected to hear it. Jesus had no formal or rabbinical training so the people would’ve wondered how he had acquired such learning without being ‘officially’ taught by a Rabbi. Yet here was this authoritative, radical teaching that got into the very depths of people’s souls. Teaching that cut through the fluff and got beneath the surface to deal with what was going on inside each one of them. Jesus taught with passion and conviction. He spoke with bold authority and the people were amazed.
• Jesus’ teaching is amazing because of its wisdom. Matt. 22:15-22. The skeptics of Jesus had challenged him with a trick question. If Jesus had answered, ‘yes’, then he would have been accused of being a friend to Rome and thus disloyal to his own people. But, if he had answered, ‘No’, then he would’ve been reported to the Roman governor and been executed for treason. Therefore, there really was no right answer. But yet he gave them one. Man can never exceed the intellect of God. There is no trick question for him. When these people saw that their trap had failed because of Jesus’ wisdom they had no choice but to go away in amazement.
• Jesus’ teaching is amazing because it is timeless. Jesus said in Matt. 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Part of the reason Jesus’ teaching will last forever is because it will always be relevant. That something said 2,000 years ago could have such a great impact on our lives today is testimony to the amazing timelessness of Jesus’ teachings. There has not been any other teaching that has changed as many lives or changed the course of history, for that matter, as much as the teachings of Jesus. Jesus’ teaching will never be outdated. It will never become irrelevant. It will forever be amazing.
• Jesus’ teaching is amazing because it sets us free. John 8:31-32, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’.” Freedom comes in believing and holding to Jesus’ teaching. I will not know what truth is until I make a commitment to hold to Jesus’ teaching. People have been bound by their pursuit of truth for thousands of years. Jesus is telling me where to find truth. His word is truth. He is the truth. His teaching is amazing because it sets me free from the deceptions of false teachings. It sets me free from the lies Satan wishes for me to believe. It sets me free from believing that how I feel dictates reality. It sets me free from wondering who and what I can trust. It sets me free from condemnation. Jesus said in John 12:48, “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” Jesus’ teaching is amazing because my ultimate destiny is determined by whether or not I accept it. If I want to know the truth and be set free I need to hold to the amazing teaching of Jesus.