By the time of the first century AD Israel talked a lot about its good old days. You find many examples of this in its official hymn book- the book we know as the Psalms. Here's one example Psalm 66:5-6 (NIV).
Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot- come, let us rejoice in him.
By contrast, some of these 1 st century Jews were paying more attention to prophetic passages like Isaiah 9:6 (NIV), a Messianic prophecy and a key verse for our Advent Season.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Let's look at one of these instances in which Jesus provoked a sense of awe in His contemporaries and how He brings joy into our lives as well.
Jesus performs an amazing transformation: the Gerasene demoniac
- A historic encounter-Mark 5:1-5 (NIV)
- No contest here-Mark 5:6-13 (NIV)
- What happens next-Mark 5:14-17 (NIV)
- Jesus' curious response-Mark 5:18-19 )NIV)
- The response of those who heard this man's testimony-Mark 5:20 (NIV)
Does Jesus still conquer evil today?
Jesus is still the One who has the power over the dark powers that assault us.
- He heals our diseases.
- He forgives our sin/rebellion/moral failures.
- He frees us from guilt.
- He reconciles us to Himself.
- He calls us to live lives of significance.
These promises and more are still available to us all.
What part are we to play in God's awe-inspiring plan for the world?
Some of us are living testimonies to the power of God at work in the world today. Your job is to proclaim His power and your healing, for in so doing you will engender and awe and joy in the hearts of those who hear your words.
What reasons for joy has God provided in your life that other people need to hear?
For others of us we are a miracle not yet completed. We are still in bondage to the evil forces of this world, forces that want to destroy the image of God that He gave you at your birth. The devil circulates lies in your head about your unworthiness, your failures, your unloveliness. Don't believe those demons! Come to Jesus and allow Him to rid your brain of these lies.
Replace them with this statement, The most important truth about you is that you are a dearly loved creation of God!
What truth do you need to hear? What steps towards Jesus do you need to take?