Summary: A message trying to encourage our gang to live in awe of Christ.
Be AMAZED at Jesus!
February 12, 2006
Did any of you watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday night?
I love the Olympics, because history is often made. And we come away from some of the events simply amazed at what Olympic competition brings out in people.
For instance, in the pairs figure skating last night, the American couple completed some weird triple axle-jump thingy. It was the first time in Olympic history anyone had completed it. It was amazing.
But maybe even more amazing in the same event was a Chinese couple. The guy had ruptured his Achilles tendon just six months ago, but after surgery, therapy, and a ton of practice, he landed a triple jump thingy, in his first competition since the injury. Amazing.
But you know what really amazes me? Why Popeye and Bluto would fight over Olive Oil. Was it money? I don’t get it. It’s amazing.
Debra and I were at our annual District Pastors’ Retreat this last week, and the speaker was Rev. Phil Stevenson, who is the new head of Evangelism and Church Growth Dept. of the Wesleyan Church.
And one of the things that he said was that we don’t think enough about the "wow’s" of God.
In other words, we’re not amazed by God very often nowadays. And I got to thinking that I had to agree.
In my own walk with Christ over the past few years, I’ve noticed that every so often the Scriptures talk about people being amazed at Jesus.
And when you think about it, there were a lot of things about Jesus that are pretty amazing.
We’re going to look at just four of them today. We’re not even going to touch his death and resurrection, as amazing as those are, although they’re foundational to everything else we’re going to talk about today.
But my hope is that you will walk out of here today a little more in awe of our Savior, and that it will lead you to a deeper love and appreciation for him.
Let’s start by looking at the fact that I think we need to...
Be amazed at his teaching.
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.
We’ve talked about this in the past, so I’m not going to take a lot of time with this.
But I want to point something out. There was no shortage of religious teachers in Israel. There were lots of rabbis, as well as the other religious leaders.
So what was it about Jesus that drew all this attention?
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.
He simply didn’t teach like the rest of them. He taught with an authority that was lacking among the other teachers.
This authority came from the fact that he was the Son of God, and was the Word of God who had come in the flesh.
And this brought amazement to those listening.
So what about you? Are you amazed by the teachings of Jesus?
If not, why not?
Of course, you have to be reading the Bible to find these teachings, so that’s step one.
After that, it takes an attitude that says, "Okay Jesus, bring it on. Help me to be amazed at your words. Make them alive to me, and me alive to them."
And even if you don’t find yourself expressing that attitude, then just ask yourself this question:
"Can I think of anyone else whose words changed as many lives and the course of history as well?"
Folks, that should be enough to bring amazement. So be amazed at his teaching. Next, I want to encourage you to...
Be amazed at his power and authority...
Jesus demonstrated power and authority in a number of areas and over a number of things. I want to quickly look at just five of these.
First, Jesus has power and authority over sin.
There’s a rather popular story about Jesus in Luke 5, where four guys bring a paralyzed man to Jesus. The crowd was huge, and they couldn’t get their friend to him, so they tore a hole in the roof.
When Jesus sees what’s going on, seeing the faith of the man’s friend, he looks at the guy, and what’s the first thing he says to him?
"Friend, your sins are forgiven."
Well, this sends the religious leaders into a tizzy, because they say that only God can forgive sin. And they were absolutely right! But they didn’t recognize who Jesus was, so he starts letting them know. We pick it up in verse 24 -