Miracles are incredible. The book of Matthew is littered with them. There are healings; blind seeing, deaf hearing, lame walking, dead living. Wherever Jesus went people were transformed … except in one place.
There is this little bit in Matthew 13:53-58 where Jesus goes to his home town. At first the people seem amazed but when they begin to talk their amazement is not due to anything other than unbelief. They begin to gossip and discuss Jesus as the carpenter’s and Mary’s son, the brother of James, Joseph, Simon, Judas and his sisters. They begin to question Jesus’ wisdom and miraculous powers. They are familiar with Jesus and his story. They are probably aware of the dubious circumstances surrounding his birth. They saw him grow up and train as a carpenter. They dismiss him as ordinary and familiar.
The people in Jesus’ home town missed out on the incredible miraculous signs and wonders because of familiarity. Their inability to raise their gaze from what they thought they knew cost them dearly. Their familiarity breed offence and lack of faith. They covered Jesus’ identity with ‘Oh, it’s just him!’
I look at this story and think ‘What fools!’, but am I doing the same thing? Is my familiarity with Jesus causing me to have offence and lack of faith? Do I stand in awe of Him?
Awe: (noun) a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder
I have been a Christian for a long time. I prayed my prayer of repentance at the age of 7. I have grown up in a Christian environment and been to church nearly every Sunday of my life. I have known Jesus for as long as I can remember. He has been a source of comfort, strength, stability and truth. But has my knowing him made me familiar with him as if he were just another pal? A mate I can call on when I need to who might just help out every now and then? A friend who listens but sometimes doesn’t do what I want him to do? A thing that I can control … ?
GOD is far more than just a lifelong friend. What would I see if I stood in awe of Him … stand with me and let’s look at Him … just for a moment.
He is the breath-taking creator of the universe who decided to design the human race with precision and detail. His amazing imagination is displayed in the stunning complexities of nature. His creation is so vast that science cannot measure it and the human mind cannot grasp it. His astounding foreknowledge did not hold Him back from giving us life but instead willfully inspired Him to sacrifice Himself in a mind-boggling act of true love. He laid down His majesty and entered a broken and hurting world to bring sublime hope to the lost. He did not enter a palace to reign but chose to relate to the people who felt the most shame by being conceived in an unmarried girl who could have been executed. He chose to go to the cross – He was not fooled or led into a trap, it was His decision. His extraordinary powers and phenomenal authority meant that He could not be held by death but instead was miraculously raised to life. His magnificent gift of eternal life is given to us for free, it cannot be earned or gained. He is seated, knowing that He had done all that needs to be done to rescue us. Yet He does not leave it at that! He leans in and speaks through His word, desiring relationship with a redeemed people. Even in His formidable supremacy He draws close with gentleness and kindness giving peace that no one can fathom.
This is my awesome GOD! He is astonishing and remarkable! Spectacular in every possible way.
There is no picture with this page … only words. Why? Because I don’t need to dress Him up. When I see Him like this, I can feel certain that He has everything in His hands and knows what He is doing … even when I don’t understand. When I begin to see Him for who He really is there is no room for offence or familiarity.
I don’t want to lessen GOD to a manageable size, to something my brain can work out and ultimately make do with. As soon as I do that my faith to see and be part of the impossible is contained in the same puny space. I am choosing to stand in awe of GOD. How about you?
P.S Just in case you need to look at Him a bit more, you can check out this video made from a sermon by Dr. S.M. Lockridge, That’s My King