I’ve been reading the Gospels over the past few months, looking for new clues about Jesus and my relationship to God. I received Christ in 1976…it’s been a long, beautiful, sometimes difficult journey, and my love for Him has continued to grow. This year, however, I’ve determined to see Him with new eyes, to freshen my knowledge of Him and His work in my life. With that intentionality behind my reading, I’m uncovering some incredible things–mostly about myself, not all of which are so great.
When is the last time I was dumbfounded?
My favorite Bible translation is the New American Standard, and in Luke, the dear physician recounts miracle after miracle, showing the multitudes His power through healing and deliverance from demonic possession. I like to concentrate on words–key words that may clue me in to some new perspective or a deeper understanding. This morning, I noticed “seized” (Luke 5:9 and 26). What an interesting word! Surely it meant something profound in the Greek. Excitedly I whipped out my old trusty Greek dictionary, and found…nothing terribly interesting. It wasn’t some violent, deeply spiritual word. It pretty much means surrounded or encompassed by. I get that. I’ve been seized by His presence, by His love…sometimes by His chastening. Somehow the word just didn’t excite me as I hoped. It wasn’t that diamond I’d sought.
But then I glanced back a page at chapter 4. “And amazement came upon them all…” (v. 36). Now back in chapter 5: “For amazement had seized him…” (v. 9) and “…they were all seized with astonishment…” (v. 26). Now here is a word I could learn from!
Indeed. In both cases, the words essentially mean dumbfounded. In these passages, the crowds–after seeing Jesus cast out demons and raise a paralytic–and Peter, after following Jesus’ suggestion to cast out into the deeper waters to catch a bounty of fish (even though Peter’s professional opinion was that it was a hopeless effort), each was dumbfounded. When is the last time I was dumbfounded? Completely, thoroughly stunned by Jesus?
Let me be dumbfounded.
Easter is approaching and the story is ever so familiar. We give up things for Lent. We rejoice over Palm Sunday. We agonize over Good Friday, and we celebrate on Easter Sunday. We have innumerable traditions, but are we dumbfounded? Does what He did completely and throughly stun us?
I’m crying as I type this. Oh, Jesus. Forgive my lack of awe. Let me be stunned at the enormity of Your love and sacrifice. Let me be seized by reverence and by the immensity of Your generosity. Let me honor You as never before, and let this passion grow within me.
Let me be dumbfounded.