Never Lose the Wonder
Jeff Pike

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Luke 5:17-26

17 One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.

18 Some men came carrying a paralysed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

21 But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

25 And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”   

 

When I was a Child I used to love watching Saturday morning cartoons.  I would wake up with so much excitement and readiness to begin my day.  My Saturday’s now consist of trying to obtain as much sleep as possible…Oh how things change.

But I used to wake up, run downstairs, turn on my favourite TV channel and watch cartoons and I would wait ever so patiently for my parents to finally wake up and get me breakfast.
I did this week after week and it was always pretty much the same, until one Saturday, I woke up as normal and went and started watching cartoons, then a commercial came on.  This wasn’t like any commercial I had ever seen before, most were about toys and other children’s things, but this was different.
I sat there and it was as if my world framework shattered and I was consumed and outraged with what I saw on the television.  This was a commercial by an organization that worked with starving children in Africa and was trying to raise support for their work.
They showed image after image of malnourished and starving boys & girls my age.
I saw Image after image of flies swarming them, poor living conditions and injustice at its worst. The fire alarm could have gone off at that moment and I promise NOTHING would have had been able to grab my attention.
At the end of the commercial they asked people to call and send money to them to continue their work.
I immediately grabbed a crayon and my colouring book and wrote down the phone number of this organization and ran as fast as my little legs could take me up those stairs screaming at the top of my lungs.

Up until that point in my life I thought everyone in the world was just like me and my family, and why would I have thought any different?  I ran into my parent’s room declaring everything I had witnessed as if I was telling everyone of this new discovery and demanded that we fix this problem.
I remember my mother trying so hard to communicate to a 4 year old, that there was a bigger solution than just sending them money.

Now I am very self-aware of how incredibly stubborn of a man I am, and I believe it may have begun in this encounter because the more my mother tried to deter me, the more persistent I became in sending money to these children so that I could help them.  Eventually this little 4 year old wore his mother down, handed her the crayon written phone number, had her call them and give money to help these children.

I am older now and the same injustice that once drew me to complete outrage now has moments of barely being able to grab my attention.
I live in Toronto; I see so many poor and marginalized people every day.  How did I lose that awe?  How did I lose that wonder?  I must allow JESUS to renew my mind and heart daily.

However, this is just the things of the natural, have you even notice the same occurs with the supernatural?
How JESUS gave up everything for you and I (much that we cannot begin to imagine), walked where we walk, felt what we feel, and took our sin, not just a part but the whole.
He bore our shame, our punishment, carrying our cross, being pierced by our nails, and hung on our cross all so that we have the ability not to simply be forgiven but know Him personally and know all the riches that there are in Christ JESUS?
And yet sometimes it takes us 3 songs to get into praise and worship at Church, and even then we’re thinking about the music and whether it’s too loud, or if we like songs or if that worship leader has a good voice, all in all forgetting the wonder and awe of who JESUS is.

In the scripture above Jesus has a paralyzed man brought before Him, who He forgives his sins and heals him; so he skips the entire way home.
The religious people get annoyed and instead of seeing how an amazing miracle was just performed they complained and criticized JESUS.
I feel reading that scripture we can look at the religious leaders and talk about how they completely missed it (which they did) and not understand how.  But l please take a moment with me and look at your own life…When was the last time you were filled with complete awe and wonder to JESUS for who He is?
When was the last time you were alone with Him, lost in His presence?
When was the last time you were with someone who decided to give their life to JESUS and accept His love and His forgiveness and you rejoiced as great as you could with Heaven?
When was the last time you sang “How great Thou art” and really meant it?

I was confronted it this realization this past weekend as we had the honour of baptizing people in our Church who I have personally seen turn their entire lives around and pursue JESUS with everything they have.
The Bible talks about how it’s only through the power of the Holy Spirit that this can happen, so it has nothing to do with me.
What was done on Sunday wasn’t simply a baptism, it was a representation of PEOPLE who are now dead to sin alive in JESUS and will for ETERNITY be with Him.  Just ponder that, ETERNITY.

That, friends will cause wonder upon wonder upon wonder upon wonder.
Today wherever you are reading this, whatever is going on in your life please do not look at the splinter in your neighbour’s eye but look at the log in your own.
Ask God to search heart and reveal to you if you have lost that wonder.  If you have lost that amazement in who He is and all that He has done in and through your life.

No matter how many lives we see change, no matter how many people we baptize I urge you as I urge myself, never lose the wonder.