“And all were astonished at the majesty of God.” Luke 9:43
I love the word “astonished” here. Mounce expresses it “to strike out of one’s wits.”
We live in a day an age where 2 things (among others) militate against our being truly astonished at God and His goodness and grace. Struck out of our wits.
First is the way both the news media and social media hype everything as the ultimate, earth ending crisis. I heard a teaser the other day for a news broadcast and the host – referring to a current issue said: “it’s a heath crisis, it’s a humanitarian crisis, it’s national security crisis!” Well good golly, if this one issue (and it is indeed a true issue) is to be magnified to such a degree – then what are we to do with everything else in life? And compare that to people living for decades in war-torn countries under murderous regimes and in the worst of poverty.
Second, is the way computer generated effects in the movies create sight and sound spectacles which are truly overpowering. But in the final analysis these are not real. They are total fabrications. Nevertheless, they desensitize us to things which are astounding in reality. It takes more and more to astonish us. And with movie-makers doing the imagining for us on the screen, we lose the capacity to rightly use our God-given imaginations when contemplating historical accounts when reading the simple facts as presented in the Word.
Here, in this account, the ones who saw this deliverance at the hand of Jesus were rightly “astonished at the majesty of God.” And we would do well not to pass over the passage so quickly that we are not astonished with them. A little boy, so horribly afflicted and terrorized by demonically induced convulsions that make him foam at the mouth, and “shatter “ him – for years. A father, seeing his only son in this unthinkable condition, having to rescue him from certain death when being thrown into the water and even fire at times.
And then Jesus – with a word – rebuking the unclean spirit even as it was convulsing the lad and throwing him to the ground – and giving him back to his father, completely delivered.
But go with me a bit more today.
Even 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.
Oh, 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” (Isa. 53:6). 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. Oh the death 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!”
Turn your sanctified imagination loose on those things today. Be astonished at the majesty of God in saving grace through Jesus Christ.