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Wednesday, 30 August 2017


I confess to having recently become a most ardent fan of Amira. If the name means nothing to you, then permit me to enlighten you. Amira Willighagen, to give her her full name, is a Dutch girl of only 13 years of age who, since her appearance in "Holland's got talent", about four years ago, has taken the classical music world by storm. Even at nine years of age, the maturity, tone, and richness of her voice was amazing. In the ensuing four years, it has only improved - especially with her breath control (as this clip displays!)!

Amira really is, in my opinion, amazing! She is extraordinary! I wonder, are you amazed by the extraordinary? Perhaps it is not in the sphere of classical music, but in sport; in culinary art; in literary output; or whatever. 

What about the words and miracles of Jesus, the Christ? Sometimes, is it not the case, that in our relationship with the central Figure of human history, we have developed, if not contempt (and I trust that that is not the case!) but a familiarity that is not too far removed from it?  Sometimes, is it not the case, that we fail to respond with amazement as did the first-century eye-witnesses?

For example, those early witnesses marvelled at His miraculous power. Four friends brought a lame man to Jesus for healing, letting him down, on a pallet, from the roof. "And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, My son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” - He said to the paralytic - “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this! (Mark 2:5-12; emphasis added).

They were awestruck by His presence. After the record of the Transfiguration, we read that: "... when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw Him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to Him and greeted Him." (Mark 9:14-15; emphasis added).

They were astounded by His extraordinary knowledge. "And when Jesus had finished these parables, He went away from there, and coming to His own country He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?" (Matt.13:53-54; emphasis added).

Sadly, some who were astonished by Jesus' words and works later became offended by His teachings, and turned away for Him in unbelief. However, for others, their amazement led to faith, and new life, and worship.

How long has it been, I wonder, since you and I have been truly amazed by the live of Jesus; by the thought of His atoning sacrifice; by the evidence of His wonderful care? May we join our voices with ".. the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might for ever and ever!” (Rev.5:11-13).

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