Amazing Jesus

When we take time to reflect on God and His blessings, we can be overwhelmed by His grace and goodness toward us. The famous clergyman and hymn writer, John Newton (1725-1807), wrote the text of Deuteronomy 15:15 (KJV) n an attic wall in the old parsonage at Olney, England. It reads:

“and thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondsman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee.”


This verse reminded Newton of his own story. First, he was a slave trader and then, he found the forgiveness for his sins in Jesus. It inspired him to write an autobiographical hymn as an expression of his gratitude to the depth of God’s love and forgiveness – the hymn – “Amazing Grace!” Listen to the lyrics.


Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.


Amazing Grace IS a sweet sound of salvation. As someone has pointed out, mercy is NOT receiving what we deserve; grace is receiving what we don’t. Whenever we actually stop and personally meditate on the gift of God’s grace, we are amazed. But, did you know that you can also amaze Jesus?


There are two times in the New Testament where Jesus is “amazed” in regard to the faith of certain individuals. The first of the two is in Luke 7 where Jesus encounters a request from a Roman Centurion to heal his servant.


Jesus expresses amazement at the faith of the Centurion who believed that Jesus could heal his slave even long-distance. He rewards that faith with healing and Luke 7:9 (ESV) He says:

“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”


While Jewish elders asked Jesus questions like, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23), this foreigner knew exactly who Jesus was. He knew Jesus had authority from the Father to command the natural world. He knew proximity was no factor. Jesus could speak disease out of existence from any distance.


The religious leaders in Israel should have recognized Jesus as the Messiah. They should have had faith in him. Instead, many opposed and rejected him. Yet, this Gentile invader believed what he had seen and heard about God and loved the nation of Israel. He also believed what he had seen and heard about Jesus. Jesus then rewarded his faith and healed his servant.


The second time people amazed Jesus regarding faith is in Mark 6. One Sabbath, Jesus and His disciples went to His hometown synagogue. There He teaches but the people doubt Him. Because of the peoples’ lack of faith, He does not perform many miracles in his hometown.


These people should have known Him. They should have known Him not only from the scriptures but also from His time He had spent with them. Yet, they doubted him to the point that he was “amazed” at their unbelief. Notice Mark 6:6 (ESV):

And he marveled because of their unbelief.


On the one hand we have a “believing unbeliever”. On the other hand, we have “unbelieving believers.” With whom do we identify more? Are we like the Jews who should have known better and practiced faith in the presence of the Messiah? Or, are we more like the Roman who exercised the level of faith he had? He could not quote great portions of the Torah. He was an outsider, yet he believed on a practical and personal level.


Would Jesus say that our faith – or that lack of faith amazes him? Even faith the size of a mustard seed can be productive when it is exercised. God has promised, believe and do.


Keep The Light of Amazement Burning!