In Mark’s gospel we read of the account of Jesus healing a paralytic who was let down through the roof. When Jesus healed the man by declaring that his sins were forgiven, questions arose in the minds of some in attendance. Jesus responded to their questions even though they did not ask them out loud.
Jesus indicated that no difference in difficulty existed between declaring this man forgiven or physically healed. Those with questions understood that only God can forgive sins. Jesus’ response indicated that he had been given authority to forgive sins. Several times in the gospels, Jesus spoke about authority given to him by the Father. This authority linked him essentially with the Father.
My focus, however, is on the response of the rest of the people. Instead of accusatory questions in their hearts, their response was one of sheer amazement leading to their glorifying God.
They were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
Notice first that the healing/forgiveness of the man was an uncommon sight to both the accusers and the believers. They never saw anything like this. Even the skeptics were stunned by the event as being in the sole domain of God. “God alone” can forgive and “never saw anything like this” both express uniqueness in the event.
But while one responds with accusations of blasphemy, the other responds with worship. Too often the events that stir amazement within us are things representing human tragedy. We are amazed when we read unique stories of human depravity. But that amazement leads only to the shaking of our heads.
The challenge before us is to focus on the works of God that stir amazement within us. Then couple that amazement with worship by glorifying the one responsible for the work. The more closely we focus on what God has done and is doing, the more we will be amazed. The more we are amazed by his handiwork, the more we will glorify him. And that is why he does these things in the first place – to bring glory to his name.
When you sing the hymn, Amazing Grace, can you not tell the stirring which happened in the heart of John Newton? His heart stirred because God saved such a wretched man. He was left with adoring worship of the one who had saved him. How could he do otherwise? He could not puff up himself. He was wretched and unworthy of glory. But the God who saved such a wretch was worthy of all glory.
Will you longingly look at the work of God? Will you stand in amazement at this work? Will you glorify God as the might one?