What does it mean to be astonished? Is it an action, result, prerequisite for change?
In the dictionary it states the definition of astonishing as follows:
“To fill with sudden wonder or amazement.”
“To fill with sudden and overpowering surprise or wonder.” (http://dictionary.reference.com)
We can see that according to the dictionary it is an unexpected feeling, which causes one to reflect or be in an elevated state of mind.
As I pondered on this word, I thought of times when I too felt this feeling. Each time was when I was being taught by the Spirit. This feeling of astonishment has led me to do such things as write music, poetry, go have an uplifting conversation, go serve etc. It was this feeling which led me to have a DESIRE to act. The Bible itself is a compilation of people who through the teachings of Christ were enlightened and therefore willing to change.
If we look in the book of Mark we can learn even more about what the word astonishing means.
Through out all of the references in Mark containing the word astonishing, every single reference was an after effect. In most it was Christ who shared with the people about the real questions of life, for example, Who am I, Where did I come from, What is my purpose, What do I need to do, What happens after I die….etc. Through Christ’s teachings these questions which many assumed to be unanswerable, were answered. Not only did they receive an answer to these question, but the power by which Christ taught them left the people amazed…astonished. This happened as He taught the people with wisdom, healed the 12 year old “damsel,” questioned the apostles etc.
All of the astonishment was a result of Christ’s ministry and the attention of the astonishers.
What was this power? Why were others effected by what Christ said. What authority did Christ have. Lets look at the reasons why
1. Authority- Jesus Christ was and is the literal son of God. God is His earthly Father. Just like I have brown eyes and a spunky personality from my mom, Jesus Christ in reality has the characteristics of God. He and God are as separate in body as my mom and I, but, He has powers that no other human being possesses.
2. Power- along with the literal authority, Christ’s words have power because they are true. We have all heard the saying “ The truth will set you free.” Truth, in its simplicity is the greatest source of power and when we live it we have the power to become free. While upon the earth Christ did not teach about the cosmos and the galaxies. Instead he spoke simple powerful truths. For example, God is our Heavenly Father, He loves us, We must choose to love God by being baptized, Repent, Forgive, and Love. Living these brings power, the true power into our lives.
As we see the power that Christ possessed it causes me to reflect upon what capacity I have to astonish and move others. I will never be the literal son of God, but I can speak with power. What keeps us from this power? It seems simple enough to love, forgive, repent, but is it? When was the last time we held a grudge against someone we believe wronged us? When was the last time we allowed our judgments or sarcasm create barriers with those around us. We are not perfect, but we can try to be. In this complex world it is only the pure simplicity of living a truth that can bring our minds to the point of astonishment.So lets lift our heads, speak kind words and courageously love.
Mark 1: 22
Mark 5: 42
Mark 6: 2
Mark 7: 37
Mark 10: 24, 26
Mark 11: 18