Summary: We get too board with the amazing things about Jesus, We know his stories and how to end. We need to be re awakened and be astonished again.
I stand amazed
This morning I want to talk about astonishment. The dictionary gives this brief definition - a cause of amazement or wonder - to strike with sudden and usually great wonder or surprise.
There are a lot of things about Jesus that were pretty astonishing.
The first time we learn about Jesus surprising people is when he was 12. The family thought he got lost and they found him in the temple talking about the scriptures. This sounds a little surprising, a kid visiting the big city, goes to church to talk to the teachers about God.
About 17 years later he comes to the river to be baptized by John. Sort to surprising especially to John.
He goes to a wedding and his mom insists that he help them when they run out of wine. So his first miracle involved helping a family friend that might be embarrassed with the shortage of wine. Seems surprising.
Later he saves a woman from being stoned because of adultery, the Law is very clear as to what is to happen but he only tells her to sin no more.
It is not long before there is a frenzy of healing and teaching. He heals people left and right. He feeds thousands of people with only a small amount of food.
Hangs out with sinners. He raises the dead. All these things are surprising and astonishing to some.
One of the biggest points that seems to astonish the disciples is that He has growing power and popularity and does not use it the way that they or - I probably would.
Jesus actions are surprising and amazing - to me and I hope to you.
I don’t know about you but I am hard to surprise. In my English literature class when I read the compositions, I can guess the ending because they have already been used in TV and Movies. Basically, with all the information we receive everyday it is hard to be surprised by what you read these days. Even the stories on the news are pretty much the same.
Can you recall being really surprised recently, what did it take? Our environment has every comfort and every toy that we can imagine. Can a good an old-fashioned surprise birthday party startle us any more?
For kids today, it is not as likely as in the past. They are disappointed with the gifts, because there is nothing special about them. The gifts are too small… all kinds of little disappointments that they find in the most joyous of occasions.
Do the stories of Jesus surprise and astonish you any more? Have they become old and stale? You have heard them preached over and over so there is nothing new in them for you. Has Jesus, what he did and what he promised lost its power to surprise you?
Today’s scripture is from the birthday of the church. Pentecost…. A day when people spoke in tongues, others heard them, and thousands of people believed and were Baptized. There were lots of astonishing things going on that day. Peter the one who denied Christ three times, who had doubts and who Jesus told to get behind me Satan was the main speaker.
Isn’t that surprising?
He is a Galilean, country redneck fisherman. He gave up his pickup and bass boat because there was something special about this man Jesus. Something that was interesting enough for him to follow him and there was no paycheck, just the excitement of being there.
You know, when Jesus was around, there were a lot of wild days. He was full of surprises; POP quizzes, questions about morality, and stories about choices. Nothing seemed to faze him, not even the pressure of the authorities.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter stepped up to give a testimony about Jesus. He still looked like some hick from the sticks, his Galilean accent gives him away. Folks are saying “he’s not from around here.” He did not look holy, like someone that would speak a message from God. People are staring at the spectacle that he and the others are making.
All because of this wind blew into the house, and the fire that was everywhere in the shape of tongues on each person - the disciples knew that this was the day that they had been told to wait for. When your morning starts with astonishing events, you need to hang on and be ready.
They knew that God had blown into town and it was time to take action. The city was filled with visitors from all over. The noise brings a crowd rushing to find out what happened. The people were amazed that they heard the speaker talking in their first language, no matter where they were from…Astonishing..