And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

Matthew 22: 33

 

At this time Jesus was teaching in the temple, and He had been engaging in a series of discussions with various groups of religious leaders about their basic understanding of God and of His kingdom, both in heaven and on earth. These were the sorts of things that these leaders in the religious life of the people should have been teaching to their followers with accuracy, understanding, and passion. However, this was not true. They had strayed far from truly knowing God, and what they said about Him was not based in revelation but was formed in their own minds and out of the desires of their self-serving hearts.

 

So, when people heard Jesus speak, they heard something fresh, revelatory, and alive. Their hearts were convicted of their own sinfulness, and their minds were opened up to the greatness and the grace of God. This is what happens when we listen to Jesus. This is the sort of ear and eye opening experience that comes to people as they stop speaking the chant of their own understandings and remain still long enough for Christ’s words of gospel truth to penetrate into the depths of their beings. For pursuit of the lost is what Jesus is a bout, and bringing all of us into the now and forever presence of God Almighty is His objective.

 

The jaw dropping, stop-in-your-tracks astonishment that the crowds experienced is ours to know as well. Truly hearing Christ speak from the pages of His word, with the voice of the Holy Spirit, and in the counsel and comfort of His people is both life altering and life giving. The presence of Christ in my life is astonishing, and it is so every moment of each day. As I cling to my Savior and continually yield to Him as my Lord, Christ brings me into the holy halls of eternity so that this life is lived in the hope and peace of God’s unending love.

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