How often do we marvel – I mean truly marvel with wonder and astonishment at something? Because as I recently began reading Luke's Gospel, I noticed a whole lot of marveling going on! And that got me wondering about how often I marvel at things, and about what makes me marvel. Northern lights can do it, or even some sunsets. But even with such examples in mind, I don't find myself actually marveling very much.
It feels important though, because if marveling is a part of the Gospel story, then I want it to be part of my story too as I embrace the Gospel. And yet I feel sort of dulled to the feelings of wonder and astonishment that are mentioned in the definition of marveling. Is it all the special effects in the many movies I've seen, or is it the never-ending electronic gadgets that keep coming out designed to impress me enough to buy them? The other day, I heard about a space craft heading for Mars and basically shrugged. Big deal. Mars is old news. How does one find more to marvel at?
We certainly get excited about some things. For example, some people get pretty pumped about the newest Marvel movie, and then when they see it, they're often even more excited. Are we marveling at Marvel movies? Perhaps some of the excitement about those movies includes wonder and astonishment, but those movies don't touch us as deeply as the story Luke was writing about. They're not life-changing or life-giving.
The marveling of the Gospel story began long before Jesus even grew up and began His ministry. Luke uses the word four times at the beginning of his book and surely could have used it many more times! (Bible translators use various words for the original Greek word thaumazo, but I'm presently using NKJV, which prefers the English word "marvel.") One of the early mentions of marveling is in Luke 2:18 after the shepherds told the crowds in Bethlehem what the angels had told them and what they had found in a stable. "And all those who heard it marveled at those things that were told them by the shepherds." Reports of a sky full of angels and a mention of a Saviour was easily enough to cause wonder and astonishment!
The marveling only increases throughout Luke's Gospel as Jesus began His ministry and taught the Scriptures with an authority people had never heard before and as He performed miracles greater than what anyone had ever witnessed in all of Israel's history! And after reading through the all the instances in which the word marveling is used, I'm left asking myself: How much does Jesus cause me to truly marvel? How often do I find myself reflecting in wide-eyed wonder at what Jesus is up to in my life or in this world?
I want there to be more Gospel-marveling in my heart! As I embrace Jesus and the good news of the Gospel, may I marvel more with wonder and astonishment at how amazing God is! Perhaps this is a way we can be more like children – consistently expressing wide-eyed wonder at God. So ask yourself: What has Jesus done recently that has astonished you? How has He filled your heart with wonder by how He has shown Himself to you? Because Jesus would love to see us continually marveling at Him and giving thanks to Him as He daily and lovingly reveals Himself to us!
© 2016 by Ken Peters