The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching, (11:18).
Astonish to fill with sudden and overpowering surprise or wonder; amaze:
The Greek word translated as astonished is defined in the Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon as follows: “to be so amazed as to be practically overwhelmed—to be greatly astounded.”
When the crowd was astonished it was not merely a feeling of wonder, but a filling, a force that astounded and overwhelmed.
Consider Him Who Astonishes
In recalling the many signs and wonders Jesus performed during His three-year earthly ministry, there is no doubt many were astonished at His miracles. Jesus turned water into wine; He healed the lame, blind, deaf and mute; He cast out demons; He calmed the sea and walked on water; He fed thousands with a few loaves and fish; and He raised the dead. Who wouldn’t be astonished, filled with amazement?
Equally astonishing were the words He spoke; for the crowds were astonished, filled with fear and wonder by His very words, His mystifying and gracious teaching.
When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes, (Matthew 7:28-29).
When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?” (Mark 6:2).
And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all… 22 And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; (Luke 4:14-15, 22).
The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” (John 7:15).
How do we respond to Him Who Astonishes?
Do we approach His Word in awe and holy reverence? Do we come in delightful expectation to see Him Who Astonishes? Are we humbled in awe and gratitude for the gift of His Holy Word? Do we find ourselves continually thinking and meditating on His Word …Astonished at His teaching?
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers,(Psalm 1:1-3).
It is true that some will take offense, become fearful or angry at His teaching. Do we allow the opinions of others to overwhelm us rather than His teaching? Let us be overcome by His truth and strive to please only Him.
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ, (Galatians 1:10).
Today as we meditate on His life-changing Word, let us come in faith to be filled and overcome with amazement, that we would fall in love and revere His perfect truth and be astonished and transformed by the teaching of Him Who Astonishes.
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer, (Psalm 19:7-14).