Amazing

rosesAmazed.

That’s what I was last Sunday night when my big, grown-up boy came in the house carrying a card and a dozen roses.  Now that he’s married and has a sweet baby girl of his own, there are plenty of women in his life to remind him of important things like Mother’s Day.  (God bless daughters-in-law.)

It doesn’t take much to make my jaw drop.  I can be blown away by a song, overwhelmed by an unselfish act of kindness, and astounded by a home-run-robbing catch at the center field fence.  I am easily awed by people who write stimulating words, understand quantum physics or run a marathon.  This world should inspire some serious marveling, what with sunsets, ocean waves, redwood trees…..need I go on?

But this word keeps popping up in the Bible.  The gospel writers used the word “amazed” thirty-five times to describe people’s response to Jesus.

Curious crowds — “The people were amazed at His teaching…”  Mark 1:22

His followers — “The disciples were amazed at His words…”  Mark 10:24

Even Pontius Pilate — “But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.”  Mark 15:5

There’s no doubt Jesus was completely amazing in every way.

But what amazed Jesus?

Only two things.

“And He was amazed at their lack of faith.”  Mark 6:6

I don’t want to amaze Jesus.  Not like that.

“When Jesus heard this He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.'”  Luke 7:9

I want to amaze Jesus.  Like that.

What astonished Jesus?  Zero faith and great faith.

What astounds me?  Grace.

Amazing grace.