When Jesus finished saying these things, the crowd was amazed at the way he taught. He wasn’t like the teachers of the Law; instead, he taught with authority. (verse 28,29)
Read Matthew 7:28 – 8:4
A few years ago an alcohol company produced TV ads two seconds long. A glimpse of image, a brand name, and then they were gone. Politicians talk in ‘sound bites’, ten-word sentences that sound good in the precious few moments news services give them. At the same time, the Internet delivers up enough information to last a thousand lifetimes. Ours is an age of information overload and time starvation. So fast, so much, so busy, so stressed. Everything’s urgent. Everything’s important. Everything, it seems, except you.
That’s why Jesus is so surprising. He steps into this world, looks you in the eyes, and touches your heart. He sees deep inside of you, to those needs and fears and feelings you try so hard to ignore. He reveals truths the world tries to forget. He holds you tight as the world tries to spin you away, demanding you queue for the next service it wants to sell.
Be surprised by Jesus’ teaching. Be confronted, jolted out of everyday reality and your comfort zone. Forget sound bites and snappy advertising. Go beyond information and gloss. Let Jesus lead you to real meaning. To truth, acceptance, forgiveness. Listen to the words that will save your life, and let them be your life. Let Jesus surprise you with love.
Jesus, it’s so easy to be impressed with everything people can do. But you surprise me with who you are. Let me be like you. Amen.
From “Direction for each day” (LCA, Openbook Publishers, 2006)
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