Part 4: The Wondrous Christ

By May 23, 2014 God of Wonders No Comments


God of Wonders Part Four: The Wondrous Christ

We began this series with Job 37:14  stop and consider God’s wonders.

I encouraged us to do the same, to stop and consider God’s wonders, to think or speculate curiously, to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe, to marvel at God, his work, his world.  To pause and to cultivate an intense intellectual interest in God, his work, and his world.

And the goal of this miniseries is to reclaim the art of wonder in an effort to renew our excitement for God and his works because it seems that there is a general apathy that has developed over the years for such things, a boredom with God and his creation.

I spent the majority of week one discussing some of the causes of boredom in attempt to understand and then reverse the boredom epidemic.  Just to recap, I mentioned four causes of boredom:

  1. Lacking a sense of meaning or purpose.  When we don’t see a meaning or purpose behind an activity, when it seems meaningless to us, it is easy to become bored.  Thus, we must strive to see all of the seemingly meaningless tasks in life within the framework of our purpose and the meaning of life, namely to know God and make Him known, to love, worship, and enjoy God, to love and serve others.

  2. A sense of disconnection.  If we do not sense a deep connection with the subject or topic at hand, we will find it boring.  In order to avoid this paralysis of the soul, the boredom that results from a sense of disconnection, let’s find, reclaim, or maintain the connection that we have with the Creator, with the Savior, and with his people:

  • our connection to God the father as his children

  • our connection to Jesus the savior, as his redeemed

  • our connection to Israel as fellow heirs to the promised Kingdom

  1. Being passive recipients instead of active participants.  If we are actively pursuing a relationship with God during the week, actively praying, actively studying the scriptures, actively worshiping, we will not be merely passive recipients, prone to boredom when…

  2. A combination of leisure, overstimulation, and the Entertainment Industry.  We have developed a callus to the extraordinary due to overstimulation, so we are no longer sensitive to the stimulation.  The extraordinary with which we are constantly bombarded has cultivated within us a boredom with the ordinary life and with God.

In week two we camped out on Psalm 105, one of the texts that highlight the wonders of YHWH in the context of His miraculous redemption of His people from bondage in Egypt.

Psalm 105

1 Give praise to YHWH, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.

3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek YHWH rejoice.
4 Look to YHWH and his strength;
seek his face always.

5 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
6 you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.

The psalm ends appropriately with Praise YHWH.   HalleluYAH!

In passing, I alluded to the fact that this Exodus motif serves a much bigger purpose than one might realize at face value; the Exodus story serves as a pattern that foreshadows the story of the New Testament.

For years I didn’t realize this and when I would read my Bible I noticed over and over

Deuteronomy 4:34

Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

Deuteronomy 5:6

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Deuteronomy 6:12

be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Joshua 24:5

“‘Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out.

Judges 2:1

[ The Angel of the Lord at Bokim ] The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors.

1 Samuel 10:18

and said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out ofEgypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt

2 Samuel 7:23

And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?

1 Kings 8:51

for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.

2 Kings 17:36

But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship.

You get the picture.  Virtually every book makes mention of the Exodus.  I used to think to myself, why make such a big deal about that?  Why recall continually this event that happened hundreds of years prior?  The answer is because it is a big deal.  In our modern American culture we tend to make a big deal about the latest news and then it soon becomes old news and we forget about it, waiting for the next new news.

But this old news is worthy of remembering recalling to mind.  If this Yahweh God exists (which I believe he does) and if he made a covenant with the children of Abraham (which I believe he did), and if he fulfilled it (which he did) and if in the process he really did perform these miraculous wonders, then it is worth stopping to consider the wonders of this mighty God.  He is truly worthy of our worship, of our wonder, awe, amazement, and admiration.

But I believe the Exodus out of Egypt receives so much press for another reason.  I believe the divinely inspired text makes numerous references to the Exodus because that story anticipates a greater Exodus in fulfillment of a greater redemption, a rescue from a spiritual Egypt, wherein God’s people were in bondage to sin and death.

I’d like to share with you some parallels between the first Exodus and the second Exodus:

Events

OT verses

NT verses

Evil king had baby boys killed

Ex 1:22

Matt 2:16

Deliverer prophet protected in Egypt

Ex 2:1-4

Matt 2:13-14

A prophet like Moses

Deut18:15-19

Acts 3:17-23

Law on the Mount for life in the new land

Ex 24:12

Matt 5 – 7

Forty days fasting

Ex 34:28

Matt 4:1-2

Rescue out of Egypt

Ex 12:42

Rev 11:8

Signs and wonders by prophet-redeemer

Exodus 4:17

Mark 6:2

Death of the Passover Lamb

Ex 12

1 Cor 5:7b

Male lamb without defect, no bones broken

Ex 12:5, Num 9:12

1 Pet 1:19, John 19:33

Authority challenged by brothers

Num 16:3

Matt 21:23

Brothers of prophet ready to stone him

Ex 17:4

John 8:58, 10:30

Mediator of the covenant

Ex 34:27-32

Luke 22:20

Lifted up – look & live (bronze serpent vs cross)

Num 24:1-9

John 3:14-16

Forty years wandering in the wilderness

Num 32:13

1 Cor 10:1-11

Faithless destroyed in wilderness

Num 14:33

Heb 10:38-39

Believers saved and enter new land

Deut 1:34-38

Heb 10:38-39

Entrance into the new land (inheritance)

Lev 20:24

Col 1:12, Matt 25:34

And in the same way that God’s wonders accompanied the first exodus, the second exodus was accompanied by the wonders of God.

Stop and consider God’s wonders with me.  Let’s review some of the miracles of Jesus.

Miracles of Jesus

Passage

Turns water to wine (6 jars, 20-30 gallons each)

John 2:1-11

Heals an official’s son (healed at the hour Jesus said the word)

John 4:43-54

Drives out an evil spirit

Luke 4:31-36

Heals Peter’s mother-in-law (in bed with a fever, got up to serve)

Matt 8:14-15

Heals many sick at evening

Mark 1:32-34

Miraculous catch of fish (#1)

Luke 5:1-11

Cleanses a man with leprosy

Matt 8:1-4

Heals the servant of a centurion

Luke 7:1-10

Heals a paralytic

Mark 2:1-12

Heals a man’s withered hand

Matt 12:9-14

Raises a widow’s son

Luke 7:11-17

Calms a storm

Mark 4:35-41

Casts demons into a herd of pigs

Matt 8:28-33

Heals a woman in the crowd

Luke 8:42-48

Raises Jairus’ daughter

Mark 5:21-43

Heals two blind men

Matt 9:27-31

Heals a man unable to speak

Matt 9:32-34

Heals an invalid at Bethesda

John 5:1-15

Feeds 5000

Mark 6:30-44

Walks on water

Matt 14:22-33

Heals many sick in Genessaret

John 6:1-15

Heals a gentile woman’s demon-possessed daughter

Mark 6:53-56

Heals a deaf and dumb man

Mark 7:31-37

Feeds 4000

Matt 15:32-39

Heals a blind man at Bethsaida

Mark 8:22-26

Heals a man born blind

John 9:1-12

Heals a boy with a demon

Luke 9:37-43

Pays the temple tax with a coin in fish’s mouth

Matt 17:24-27

Heals a blind, mute demoniac

Luke 11:14-23

Heals a crippled woman

Luke 13:10-17

Heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath

Luke 14:1-6

Cleanses the ten lepers

Luke 17:11-19

Raises Lazarus from the dead

John 11:1-45

Restores sight to blind Bartimaeus

Matt 20:29-34

Withers the fig tree

Mark 11:12-14

Heals a servant’s severed ear

Luke 22:50-51

Miraculous catch of fish #2

John 21:4-11

The gospel of John ends with these words in John 21:25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

That is crazy.  We have looked at almost 40 miraculous wonders of Jesus.  And there are so many more not even recorded.  What was the purpose of recording them?  John tells us in

John 20:30-31 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

As we stop to consider these wonders that God performed through his son, we find that they were performed so that we might believe the gospel and enter the Kingdom to receive life in his name.

Though this second Exodus happened two thousand years ago, though this is old news, this is still the good news, the best news that ever graced the earth, that God fulfilled his promises to his covenant people, ushered in a new covenant in which there is Jew and Gentile equality; at the foot of the cross all are equal and all are welcome into the Kingdom where heaven and earth kiss, where God and man dwell together in fellowship and where life really happens.

And as we stop to consider all of the wonders of this God, as we grow in our knowledge of Him and in our relationship with him, we see more and more that He is worthy of our worship, of praise, honor, glory, and admiration.  He truly is the God of Wonders.