Have you ever been astonished by the Lord Jesus? I must admit there are times when I am in complete awe of our Savior. Most of the time, I'm seeking to listen or serve Him, not really in great awe of Him. When I'm confused, I want a quick, easy answer that makes sense in my mind. My mind wants an answer so I labor for the "right" explanation. I end up laboring over the surrounding Scriptures, I pull out a number of commentaries, and I try to rush to a conclusion I can understand so I won't be confused. Now, this kind of study is profitable and good, yet sometimes, I can be so quick to have an answer, I don't spend time trusting in an awesome Lord who holds all things, including things that appear to be in tension for me, together. I don't often realize there is value in my confusion. For my confusion can help me enlarge my understanding of my Lord, for I must sit in awe of Him. In this, I begin to take the focus off of my need for answers and spend time with a Lord who wants me to know and dwell with Him.
This appears to be the disciples' takeaway with Jesus calming the waves and sea, "Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey Him?" (Mark 4.41) The disciples are left in complete surprise and awe into who Jesus is. Jesus knew their hearts, and He didn't answer them. He didn't bring a quick answer or try to calm them down. He allowed them to sit and think in their confusion. It is important for us to understand that confusion is not the same as doubt. They aren't doubting the character and mercy of God, they are doubting themselves and their own understanding of God and what their senses are telling them.
This seems to be a theme in all of the Gospels but particularly in the Gospel of Luke. Luke, as a historian of sorts, compiled many testimonies from eyewitnesses about how Jesus astonished those around Him. Sometimes the astonishment made sense, miraculous areas of mercy towards those who were hurting. Other times, Jesus' words bristled hearts in surprising ways. We might be offended if a pastor spoke to us with such boldness - and people were! Even still, Jesus' parables are still confounding.
Luke's goal is to provide an orderly account so his reader might have certainty about Jesus. In this series, my hope is to explore the Gospel of Luke and help us to see where Jesus astonishes us with His mercy, His words, and ultimately His love. Please take a moment and read these opening verses and contemplate a few of the process questions to consider how you might be in awe of this good and gracious King.
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Process question #1: What keeps us from being in awe of Jesus?
Process question #2: Who do we consider trustworthy people in our lives?
Process question #3: How do we develop trust with someone in our lives?