October 31, 2013

Be Amazed!

Matthew 7:28-29

The crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority.
—Matthew 7:28-29


When I reflect on the pastors and teachers who have helped to shape me into the person I am today, many faces come to mind. Some were pastors who ministered in my home church in Edmonton, Alberta. Others were professors at the colleges and seminaries I attended. Still others have been colleagues who helped me along in ministry. Each one modeled a genuine love for Jesus and a deep faith in him and his Word.

Yet none spoke with the authority Jesus has. Many of the disciples in Jesus’ day were used to being around religious teachers and leaders. Unfortunately many were self-righteous and condescending. Eventually people sensed that their words carried little meaning. Jesus’ words must have come as a welcome refreshment. The crowds were amazed with his authority, because he made the truth beautiful and amazing. Listening to Jesus, we have been challenged, comforted, and convicted. All the while, Jesus has taught with tenderness and compassion. His words call for a response: Will we surrender ourselves to him, or will we continue to live for the kingdom of this world?

Jesus shows the nature of his authority by laying down his life for us. He loved us all the way to the cross in order to win for us the life he has described. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus. Will you follow him in wonder each day?

Beautiful Savior, may the glory of your love draw us to follow you faithfully. May your Spirit work in our hearts so that our character conforms to you. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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