Midweek Wake-Up, Oct. 3rd, 2018
One cannot read Scripture without being confronted regularly with the power and the authority of God’s Word. From the beginning pages where God speaks this world into existence (‘let there be light’; ‘let there be an expanse in the middle of the waters’; ‘let the earth sprout vegetation’; ‘let’s make man in our image’), and it continues throughout Scripture. Whether that being a command to rain for 40 days and 40 nights; for the Red Sea to be separated for the Israelites to pass through, or as we saw this past week in Mark 1, when confronted by an unclean spirit, Jesus simply rebukes this spirit with His word pronouncing ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ There are times when Jesus exclaims that I do these miracles in order that you’ll know that I have the power to forgive your sin, another sign of the authority of His word. These authoritative words and this teaching with authority, leaves the crowd in Mark 1 astonished and amazed as they ask ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority!’
One must wonder, what all went through the minds of Simon & Andrew and James & John, when this same authoritative voice came to them, that day on the shore proclaiming ‘follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’. Though we know from other gospels they will have heard about Jesus and his teaching, his words here come with such authority that they immediately follow him. Then at the end of his earthly ministry, a few years after having called these men to the role of fishing for people, he sends them out to carry on this ministry of making disciples and baptizing individuals. And he does so with the words ‘all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’.
I read these words again and know that a battle rages within me. On one hand, I long to continually be astonished and amazed at the authority and beauty of Jesus’ teaching. On the other hand, I struggle to follow, wanting to resist His words. This is when I find myself having to pray that I’d grasp the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:6 when he writes ‘For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ A prayer to be awakened to this wonder.
John Piper writes ‘the Spirit awakens us, as from the dead, to see and taste the divine reality of the glory of Christ in the gospel….it’s this that authenticates the gospel as God’s own word’. John Calvin stated it like this: ‘Our Heavenly Father, revealing his majesty, in the gospel, lifts reverence for Scripture beyond the realm of controversy’.
As we begin our day this morning NSC, I pray that the Spirit would awaken us, to the sweet taste of the glory of Christ, being astonished and amazed at the wonder of His Word!