Power in Word and Deed, Part 1

Luke 4:31-32

And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath, and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority. 

Jesus created quite a disturbance in Nazareth. He told them that their stubbornness would result in Jesus taking His favor to the Gentiles. It did not go over well. They tried to throw Him off a cliff, but He simply walked through them and departed. 


He had the WOW factor! 

Jesus got out of Nazareth and went down to Capernaum and began teaching. As was His typical custom, He taught in the synagogue. Also, as was customary, His teaching amazed the people. 

What speech or sermon most amazed you in your life? It’s rare to witness the perfect mix of perfectly articulated words, compelling content, and passionate delivery.  


And they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority. Luke 4:32 


Just a short time before there had been a similar response of wonder in Nazareth, (before they turned on Him). 


And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips. Luke 4:22. 


Amazed but not Saved 

The response to Jesus’ words were wonder and amazement. So, it seems it would be appropriate for me to challenge you to reflect on the wonders of Jesus and be more amazed with the gracious words of Jesus.

I almost did!

But then it dawned on me that these people were amazed but not saved. Should they really be an example to us? 

In the synagogues of Galilee, the people were amazed but they were not described as believing or receiving.  


It seems there’s an amazement of Jesus that doesn’t lead to salvation.  


On the other hand, when the message of Jesus reaches the ears of those who are to be saved, the Bible identifies them as believing or receiving.  


From that city many of the Samaritans believe in Him…many more believed because of His word…we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world. John 4:39-42. 


So then, those who had received his word were baptized… Acts 2:41. 


The Israelites in Nazareth and Capernaum were certainly intrigued and amazed, but there’s no sign they believed. Luke doesn’t use the descriptive words of believe or receive in our passage today regarding the people in the Synagogues. 


Amazed and Saved 

So, there is an amazement of Jesus that leads to curiosity and wonder but doesn’t lead to saving faith.

But on the other hand, there is an amazement of Jesus that does indeed lead to saving faith. We see similar contrast between believers and non-believers also from the ministry of Paul: 

When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed…But the Jews incited…persecution against Paul and Barnabas… Acts 13:48-52 


What about you?

Are you amazed AND saved?


Father, You are the wonder of all wonders, it’s true. But don’t let us stop there. Let us go all in body, soul and spirit. We believe in You and we receive You; not just our emotions of wonder but with everything we are. We surrender to You our great and loving God. Bring us all the home, Amen!