The impact of Jesus on our world has been nothing less than astounding. H. G. Wells once said, “I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.” No one single individual has impacted the world more than has Jesus. We often sing the words, “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene.” There are number of reasons I stand amazed at Jesus.
First, I am amazed at His personal character. After Mary and Joseph had returned to find Jesus, whom they had lost track of, “after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46-47).
Even at a very young age Jesus had a purpose in life and went about fulfilling that purpose (Luke 2:49). Far too many young people today, however, are listless, wandering about aimlessly without any purpose in life. This is also true of many adults. Jesus, however, left us a beautiful example by living a life resisting temptation without sin, He suffered and was persecuted but never lost sight of His divine mission.
Second, I stand amazed at His mighty works. All that ever became acquainted with the life of Christ attest to His mighty works (Matt. 13:54; Mark 6:2). Even His enemies could not deny His power and miracles and had to falsely attribute the ability to another source (Matt. 12:22-27). These miracles were a confirmation of His identity as the Son of God (Heb. 2:2-4). The greatest of all these miracles was His own resurrection which proved Him to be the Son of God with power (Rom. 1:4).
Third, I stand amazed at His doctrine. When people heard Jesus speak, they were amazed at His doctrine (Matt. 7:28). Just compare Jesus’ teaching to other religious leaders in the world. Buddhism teaches that when bad things happen to people it is karma and you should not interfere with it. Mohammed said to “slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war” (Sureh 9:5). But Jesus said “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Jesus said love of God and neighbor fulfills the law (Matt. 22:37-40; Rom 13:8).
Fourth, I am amazed at the salvation He offers (Matt. 19:25). Why would the Lord die for a sinner like me? Why would He suffer the indignities, humiliation and torture He suffered for all of us while we were yet His enemies (Rom. 5:6-10). Even more amazing, once forgiven, our sins and iniquities He will remember no more (Heb. 10:5-18).
I agree with a certain J. Sidlow Baxter on this point: “Fundamentally, our Lord’s message was Himself. He did not come merely to preach a Gospel; He himself is that Gospel. He did not come merely to give bread; He said, ‘I am the bread.’ He did not come merely to shed light; He said, ‘I am the light.’ He did not come merely to show the door; He said, ‘I am the door.’ He did not come merely to name a shepherd; He said, ‘I am the shepherd.’ He did not come merely to point the way; He said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’”
I stand amazed in His Presence.
Eric L. Padgett