Vol.IX No.VII Pg.5
September 1972

The Amazing Jesus

Robert F. Turner

It is not too surprising that people of the first century should be amazed at the miracles of Jesus, or astonished at the wonders and signs which God did by Him. (Acts 2:22) The manifestation of Deity in nature is marvelous; and when God shows Himself supernaturally, men are put out of themselves or greatly struck. (Mk. 7:37) It was not for lack of proof that many rejected Him. Astonishment at His works and wisdom was overcome by pride, envy, and prejudice. They were offended and disbelieved because He was a carpenter, one of us, and few of the big shots had believed on Him. (Mk. 6:2-6; Jn. 7:47-f.)

But Jesus astonished both friend and foe with something other than His miracles. There was the content of His teaching, i.e., God is God of the living (Matt. 22:23-33); His zeal in defense of Gods house of prayer (Mk. 11:15-18); and His ability to capture the hearts of those who came to take Him captive. (Jn. 7:32-46)

Even the twelve disciples who were with Him daily, schooled in His idealism, were unprepared for the extent of His teaching. When Jesus set forth the divine concept of marriage-- that which was from the beginning—His disciples say unto Him, if the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. (Matt. 19:3-12) His teaching so shook them that compliance seemed possible only to those who bound themselves in celibacy. But Jesus did not give ground. Devotion to divine principles can do more than the knife or the monastic cell. The true Christian will keep himself for the kingdom of heavens sake. Such teaching continues to amaze the worldly-minded today.

And when Jesus said, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God, His disciples were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? (Matt. 19:16-26) The answer to this question is not to be found in some low gate dodge around the Masters teaching. Jesus said, With God all things are possible. (vs. 26) At this point the disciples seemed not to understand the exceeding value of treasures in heaven, but the time would come when they would amaze the world at their willingness to give all rather than reject the Saviour.

The Sermon on the Mount abounds in enough idealistic teaching to astound anyone, but an additional factor was even more amazing. Matt. 7:28-29 says, —the people were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Authority was inherent in the Christ. Although He quoted Scriptures to show the fulfillment of prophecies and to interrelate all of divine truth, He spake as the source of truth. He did not, as the scribes, have to appeal to other sources to prove His statements. Divinity is its own proof. This primacy and ultimacy was so apparent in Jesus Christ that the honest heart could not doubt it. He could ask, Which of you convicteth me of Sin? (Jn. 8:46) and have no fear of a truthful answer.

And, wonder of wonders, this amazing Christ died for you and me.