Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed and began running up to greet Him.
Mark 9:15 (NASB – emphasis mine)
They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful. And again He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him, Mark 10:32 (NASB – emphasis mine)
As I read these verses this morning, it occurred to me that Jesus was not doing anything phenomenal at the time in either of these situations. In the first passage, He has just come down the mountain after the Transfiguration. The brightness was gone, as were Elijah and Moses. All was normal again. There was nothing spectacular about the way He looked at this point, and He had not yet performed the miracle of casting the demon out of the boy. He just walked up.
In the second passage, He was once again simply walking. He and His followers were traveling to Jerusalem, and He was just walking a bit ahead of everyone else. That’s it. No miracles. He really wasn’t even publicly teaching at this point – the end of the verse tells that He pulled the twelve aside to teach them privately, but there was no walking and teaching the group as a whole.
Yet, people were amazed. Simply by His presence.
Where is my amazement? There are days when I am just in awe, but there are other days when I get caught up in normalcy. I allow myself to not be caught up in the awe of His daily presence. Oh, the big things will catch my attention, but I forget to just stand in awe of the fact that He is here. And, let me tell you, the fact that He is here, right now, with me, is a pretty amazing fact!
The girls and I are learning about the Aztecs in history right now, and we read yesterday about their many gods and the way they worshiped them. They had one god by the name of Moyocoyani whose name literally meant “he who gives existence to himself.” He (or actually it) was the all-powerful, ever-present, invisible god among their list of gods. But, they ignored this god. Why? Because, according to them, it was an unreachable, unknowable god. It was not a god that they perceived as having direct impact on the specific details of their lives. I makes me wonder – had they pursued the concept of this particular type of god, might it have opened the doors in their hearts and minds to the truth of the one true God?
But, they chose to remain uninterested.
To us that may seem ridiculous – I mean, if you lived your lives in constant fear of the gods, wouldn’t you want to please the one who was considered all-powerful and ever-present?
Yet, we do the same thing. We go through life making sure we fit into the culture enough, don’t upset the people around us, and honor the social norms – those, after all, are the things that directly impact our lives, right? Somewhere in middle of it all we know that we belong to Christ and that there are therefore certain expectations of us. But those expectations get caught up in the mix of the expectations of those who are right here in front of us.
We don’t live in awe and amazement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want to grow in that. While I continue to be amazed at the things He accomplishes, I want to grow in the amazement of the simple truth of His presence. His beautiful, amazing, incredible presence. The fact that God Himself is walking through my day! The fact that He is accessible! He is right here! He is not only all-powerful, but He is ever-present. The God of the universe walks and talks with me. Anywhere I look, I can see Him. That alone – without any of His marvelous acts – should totally and completely fill me with amazement.