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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: Jesus is Always Astonishing
By gene hudgens


Imagine the shock Mary endures one day when the angel Gabriel comes to her, and says, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And the angel says unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and baring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his Father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom therer shall be no end.

Mary is a virgin and has never been with a man. She is engaged to be married to Joseph. She knows he will be hurt and angry. She knows well how the Jews feel about such as this. The stigma is one that she has been warned about since she was a little girl. Only those who will break God’s law will do such a thing.

Then says Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

The angel answers and says unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:28-35.

When Jesus’ parents find him in the Temple, they no doubt are at first upset because they have searched for Him, and are worried about their twelve year old son. However, they and the Priests and others present are enlightened and shocked to see a youth discuss issues with such combinative insight.

When He refers to the Temple as His Father’s house, everyone present is astonished.

Jews feel that the name of God, Jehovah, is too sacred…too holy…to speak. One day Jesus is teaching a crowd sitting on a hill side how to pray. The Pharisee’s spiritual life doesn’t include a relationship with God. Can you imagine how flabbergasted this crowd is when Jesus says, “Our Father in Heaven?”

One day Jesus is reading Scriptures in the synagogue when an insane man screams, “Let us along. What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are; the Holy one of God.”

Can you imagine how overcome every one is when Jesus looks at the man and says to the evil spirit…”Be quiet, and come out of him.” The man tosses on the floor for a few minutes and is insane no more.

Later Jesus and His four friends go to Peter’s house. When they reach the house Jesus learns that Peter’s wife’s mother is very sick. He goes to her and takes her hand in His and lifts her up. The others are astonished when the old lady is suddenly well and serving them.

The Holy Spirit astounded Saul of Taraus on the road to Damascus.

On the first Easter Sunday morning Mary Magdalene is shocked to see that the ton heavy stone door to the tomb of Jesus is gone from the tomb.

Over and over again for the next forty days Jesus astonishes the disciples with His appearances until He ascends up into Heaven.

Over and over people continue to be surprised and astounded with His miracles.

It is not uncommon for Christians to be surprised by life’s trials. Romans 8:18 has some reassuring words as Paul declares that our present sufferings cannot compare with the glory that will be ours in heaven. Our trials will end, and everlasting joy follows.

God always speaks through His inspired Word, the Scriptures. God is always at work in His surprise visits. Has the Holy Sprit caught you by surprise lately? God loves to surprise us. Don’t expect Him to come to you only in a certain way. He will surprise us when we least expect Him? Be ready at all times for the Lord’s surprise visits.

Are you going to be surprised to learn that 15% of the world’s Palestinians are Christians? Statistics show that the Christian community suffers as much as Palestinian Muslims in their joint human and nationalistic goal of liberation.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/16/07
I enjoyed this trip through the astonishment of the New Testament.

The last paragraph about Palestinian Christians seemed to come out of nowhere...

...but I surely appreciated the thought and research that you put into this study of surprise.