Through the Word in 2020 #88 – Aug. 5 / Astonishing Majesty


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If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at reid.ferguson@gmail.com, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
 
I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of truly being astonished at something – so overwhelmed at the sight, sound or spectacle that it’s etched indelibly on your soul – but I have. It was being within feet of a lightening strike. The telephone pole beside my car was blown into a shower of white hot coals that landed on the hood of my car and sizzled and smoked in the rain covered pavement. I trembled for hours. And it still affects me deeply when I recall it. Something of that was happening in Luke 9:37-45 when Jesus came down from the Mount of Transfiguration.
 
We’ll look at that today on Through the Word in 2020. I’m your host, Reid Ferguson.
 
Along with Luke, Ezra 6:19-8:36; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-15; and Psalm 119:1-8 frame our reading for today. And it is the words of Luke 9:43 that catch my attention: “And all were astonished at the majesty of God.” The word for majesty here is only used 3 times in the Bible. And 2 of them refer to this event. That something of the majesty, the grandeur, sublimity and magnificence of God was on display in Jesus’ response to the demonized boy and His deliverance from the unclean spirit that had possessed him. The moment was uniquely electrifying.
 
Note just 2 things. First is Jesus’ utterance in vs. 41. The weight of it rests on sorrow at seeing how faithless and sin-defiled everything is. He had just been transfigured – experiencing His essential glory – talking with Moses and Elijah. And He is brutally thrust back into this fallen world – not like a baby, growing up in it as before, but violently. And it grieves Him. Like eating ambrosia one moment, and having a mouthful of maggots the next. He is feeling the weight of sin as heavier and heavier. It seems to be an expression of how He longs for His redemptive work to end all of this.
 
It truly is a stunning moment.
 
The second only the Redeemed can begin to grasp.
 
More astonishing; more important; more worthy of our attention and consideration – than the supernatural deliverance of this young lad – is the death Jesus was about to die.
 
How many things I assign more importance to than the brutal slaying of my Savior at the hands of men, and the grace of God in using that murder as His own sacrificial Lamb for our sins. These are themes worth pondering.
 
It is no wonder that God has power over the demons.
 
It is a wonder indeed that He would go to such lengths to justify lost men.
 
It is a wonder that He would give His only begotten Son to be our substitute.
 
It is a wonder that He would lay upon Him “the iniquity of us all” as Isaiah says.
 
It is a wonder that the God against whom we have wrestled with every fiber of our being, would not relent until He brought His elect to glory.
 
It is a wonder to behold such love, such mercy, such unfathomable grace.
 
It is a wonder to be given new life in Christ, the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.
 
It is a wonder to be adopted into His family – to be set as sons of God with as much familial attachment as Christ Himself.
 
It is a wonder we are loved so.
 
The person and work of our wonderful Savior! Rom. 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”
 
Beloved, take a moment to be astonished at the majesty of Jesus Christ today. In the life, death and resurrection of our soon coming King.
 
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.
 
 
 
 
 

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