What Amazes God
WHAT AMAZES GOD
Mark 6: 1-6
When you read about the life of Christ …you are going to read about some pretty amazing things.
- You will read about how He spoke to a storm and told it to be quiet…and it did.
- You will read about how He told thousands of demons to leave a man…and they did.
- You will read about a woman who had been sick for 12 years with an issue of blood and how she touched Jesus’ garments and was made well.
- And you will read about a little girl who was dead and how Jesus told her to “get up” and she did.
- When you read about Christ…you are going to read about some pretty amazing things.
But have you ever wondered what it is that “amazes” Christ?
- He did all these amazing, unbelievable things…and you would think that because he did nothing would surprise Him….or amaze Him…and yet…two times in the gospel accounts we find situations where Jesus was surprised…or amazed.
- What is it that “amazes” or “surprises” God?
- What is it that just flat surprises Him and makes Him shake His head in wonder?
Well, today we are going to find out…and I can tell you right now that what amazed Jesus in the passages that we are going to look at… still, literally amazes Him today.
Let’s see what it is that amazes God. Mark 6.
As you look at this story found here in Mark 6, Jesus goes to His home town and His disciples are with Him.
- And He comes back as the most famous person Nazareth has ever produced.
- Nazareth was a no name town.
- People even said, “Has anything good come out of Nazareth?
Well, Jesus did.
- And Jesus had been out teaching and every time thousands would go to hear Him.
- And Jesus had been out healing and when He did the news spread everywhere.
- Jesus is the biggest celebrity to ever come out of His home town.
- And it is an act of grace that He came back at all.
So, here He is, He comes back accompanied by His disciples.
- And on the Sabbath Day, He teaches in the synagogue.
- And verse two tells us that the people were “astonished” or “amazed” at His teachings.
But, if you look down at the end of verse 3 you find that the people “take offense at Him.”
- And that word “offense” in the Greek is the word “skandalizo.” We get our word “scandal” from it.
- These people were “scandalized.” They were “upset and offended” that He would show up in His home town, passing Himself off as a Rabbi…and then teach what He taught.
Now, why would they react this way?
- Well, look at verse 2-3.
- They say in verse 2: “Where did He get these things? What is this wisdom that has been given to Him? And where did He get these miracles that He performs by His hands?
- And notice verse 3: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?
The reason they were so offended by Jesus is because His credentials didn’t add up!
- He hasn’t had the proper training.
- He has studied under another great Rabbi to get what He knows.
- And they all know His family…and there is nothing special about any of them!
- And they are offended that He would come home and pass Himself off as a Rabbi!
- “That might work in other towns…but not here…we know you boy!”
So, what you have here is a situation where those who thought they knew Him best, were the most ignorant of who He really was.
- As a result, they rejected Him.
Now, notice verse 6. Vs. 6 says that Jesus “wondered” or “marveled”…or was “amazed” at their unbelief.”
- Do you see what “amazes” or makes Jesus “marvel”?
- In spite of all that He has done…in spite of all the miracles…in spite of all His claims He had made and proven.
- In spite of what God has said about Him and what God has done through Him…the people still do not believe…and that amazes Jesus.
And do you know what the basis of their unbelief is?
- Human reasoning and wisdom!
- “Isn’t this the carpenter?
- “Isn’t this the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses, and Judas, and Simon?”
- “Where did He get these things? Where did He get this wisdom?”
- These people “reasoned” themselves out of believing in Jesus!
And don’t people do the same thing today…perhaps some here this morning?
- “What the scriptures say Jesus did is impossible!”
- “My reasoning tells me that no one can walk on water…that no one can raise the dead…that no one can calm a storm.”
- “This has all got to be a fairy tale and Jesus has to be a fake!”
And not only does human reasoning cause us to not believe in the power of Jesus…but it also causes us to not believe what He taught.
- “My human reasoning tells me that baptism isn’t necessary for salvation.”
- “…that if a person is a good person and trying to do what’s right…that they can get to heaven on their own…besides, God is a loving God and He won’t allow anyone to be lost.”
- “And you can believe what you want and I will believe what I want, it doesn’t matter. We are all going to the same place anyway. Besides, there is more than one way to get there.”
- “And my human reasoning tells me that since I have been baptized I can live any way I want and I can still go to heaven.”
- Human wisdom and reasoning gets us into trouble every time.
And that is true for some here today.
- Now, I don’t know specifically what your thinking is…but if you are honest about it…your own human reasoning is keeping you from acknowledging Christ as Lord and being baptized into Him for the forgiveness of your sins. (“I am afraid. I am embarrassed. What will people say? I’ll take my chances. Jesus knows my heart! My family will disown me?”)
- Some how or another…your thinking is causing you to not believe!
Human reasoning and wisdom gets us into trouble every time.
- It caused these people to reject Christ and His teachings…and it causes some of us to do the same.
And look at what happened in verse 5: “He could do no miracles there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.”
- Jesus had all this power and willingness to help these people…but because of their refusal to believe He could do nothing.
- That truth holds true today when it comes to salvation.
- He has all this power to save…but because some people…perhaps some today, refuse to believe…He can do nothing for them.
Now, as far as I know, there is only one other time in the gospels where Jesus was “amazed.”
- It is found in Luke chapter 7…and it is quite a contrast to the incident that we just covered.
- Luke 7.
Now, here in chapter 7 a “centurion’s slave is sick and about to die.”
- And when this “centurion” hears about Jesus, he asks some Jewish elders to go to Jesus and ask Him to come and save the slave’s life.
- And they do…and in verse 4 they tell Jesus that the centurion “is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation, and it was he who built us our synagogue.”
So, Jesus goes with them and just before He gets to the house, the centurion sends some friends to Jesus with a message, and look what he says in vs. 6.
“Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; 7 for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 “For I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
Now, verses 9-10. Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” 10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
Now, there are only two times in scripture where Jesus was amazed and look at the difference.
- Here is this Roman soldier, and so much of what the people of Nazareth had, he doesn’t have.
- He doesn’t have a personal audience with Jesus.
- He doesn’t have visible evidence of Jesus’ miracles.
- He doesn’t have knowledge of Jesus’ background.
- Or even knowledge of the Jewish scriptures.
- And yet, he has the one thing the people in Nazareth need most…He has an “amazing” faith.
This Roman soldier could get in serious trouble for what he does here! He could get in trouble with the Roman government as well as the Jewish elders.
- But still, he has this amazing faith!
How do you account for that?
- How do you account for this man’s faith?
- What was it that made this man so “faith-filled”?
Well I think there are two things that account for his faith.
- The first is found in verse 3. Notice it says: “He heard about Jesus.”
- “He heard”…that’s all.
- He didn’t see the miracles…He hadn’t seen Jesus.
- He didn’t even know the Jewish scriptures…
- All He did was “hear about Jesus”, and he believed.
And the second thing that accounted for this man’s amazing faith is found in vs. 8:
- This soldier had an “understanding of the nature of authority.”
- He could tell a man “go” or “come” and the man would “go” or “come”.
- And the reason he could is because his authority came from above, from his
- And this centurion had heard that Jesus could tell demons to “go” and they went.
- And he had heard that Jesus could tell a little dead girl to “come”, and she did.
- And he had heard that Jesus could tell a storm to be quiet, and it obeyed.
- And he thought about his own authority and where it came from…and he thought, “This Jesus could not have that kind of authority unless it came from higher up.”
- “And Jesus’ kind of authority only comes from God.”
And so, Jesus is amazed at his faith.
Now, there is a conclusion from both stories that I want to share with you today and that is simply this: The reaction of men to Christ is a source of constant amazement.
You think about it.
- There are people today that you know (and maybe you are one of them), and if someone would have told you 5, 10, 15 or 20 years ago that they would be Christians, you would have laughed.
- You might have thought that they would be dead, or in jail…but “there is no way they will be in church.”
- But they are.
- Somewhere along the way they heard about Jesus and they believed in Him and now they are strong, and active in the Lord, and you are amazed.
And then there are others.
- People you knew who had a Christian upbringing.
- They were raised in the scriptures and the knowledge of God.
- And they went to church every Sunday and they went through the routine.
- And yet, after all these years they are just playing games with Jesus.
- Or, they have abandoned Him all together…and it still amazes you.
The reaction of men to Christ is a source of constant amazement.
And that is true of each one of us today.
- One way or another, some of you have or will amaze God by the choices you make concerning Jesus.
- Some this morning will amaze God by rejecting Christ…by denying Him, refusing Him and what He says…in spite of what God says about Him…in spite of the miracles…in spite of what you know to be true.
But then again it may be that someone will amaze God by admitting that Jesus is Lord and obey Him? And seek after Him? Honor Him? Trust in Him? Even though you have only heard of Him.
One way or another you will amaze Him. Won’t you come….
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023