Mystery & Wonder, pt. 4 (a/v): N.T. Responses to Mysteries

Mystery & Wonder, pt. 4 (a/v): N.T. Responses to Mysteries July 19, 2018

i. Do our children know there is something other about God (recap)?

When I think of wonder, I remember a time when we were doing a Fall Family Festival.  Cruz and Mateo were young.  It was before Eliseo came along.  We were getting ready at the church, putting in long hours during the week leading up to it.  There were about a hundred volunteers from the church that were helping us, but it was all about ready to go south because there was a rain storm predicted.

We were heading back to the car from the church and everybody had been talking about this.

“Oh no, what’s going to happen!”

“Are we going to have a rainstorm?”

I got to the car with Mateo, looked around, and Cruz was still standing by the fountain of the church.  He was looking up, so I started wondering what’s going on?

Our little church off the beaten path, Salinas, CA
image capture, September 2017 | Google, 2018

All of a sudden he just yelled out:


Try to guess whose prayers God heard that day.

It evoked such a sense of wonder in me, because I realized we can just speak out the name of Christ.  We can call out on Him in faith.  He cares enough about us to bless us, even when we’re just having fun!  He smiles upon us.  My son understood it.

Cruz understood the mystery that God could do what he could not do.

Mystery & Wonder, pt. 4 (a/v):
N.T. Responses to Mysteries

You know, we’ve become so self-reliant in Western Europe and America that we no longer need God.  We can do everything on our own.  We can take care of ourselves.  All we have to do is find a good job.  All we have to do is pursue the American dream.  Whatever we want to do, we can do it.

We can be anything we want to be . . . and we leave God in the dust, but my son knew there was something other about God, and God can still do things that we cannot.  With all of our modern science and technology, nobody could change the weather that night . . . mystery and wonder.

ii. Let’s consider some Scripture readings

These are particularly targeted at responses that people have to what God does (wonder).

Acts 2.6-7:

Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

We know the sign in this passage.  It’s the day of Pentecost, but people are confounded.  People are amazed and they marvel.

Acts 2.12:

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

Amazed and in doubt, they can’t believe it.  For us, it may be like this: we want God to work in our lives, show up, show signs, and reveal His mysteries.  But then when He shows up and does something for us that we’ve been praying about, what’s the first thing we say?

“I can’t believe it!  I can’t believe He actually loves me, can’t believe He showed up!”

We are seeing at the outset of the Early Church that God is changing things, changing the norms, actually showing up.

Acts 3.9-10:

And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

They are filled with wonder and amazement.

Acts 3.11

And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

It says they are greatly wondering.

Acts 3.12:

And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

Peter has the right perspective.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Do you know who they are impressing, or who God is impressing through them?  They are impressing the religious elite of that day, the religious leaders, the Sanhedrin.  The leaders are basically asking, “What is going on?  How are these men so well learned?  How do they have such a knowledge of the Word of God?”  They’re basically blown away and then they remember, “Oh yeah, they’ve been with Jesus for three years.”

When was the last time somebody said that about us?

“Oh, they’re really on fire!  That’s really a cool group, you know?  Oh yeah, they’ve been with Jesus.”

There should be a recognizable difference.

Acts 5.5, 11:

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things . . . And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

There is a reaction to what God is doing.  I think of summer youth camps and vacation Bible schools.  Our teens may even learn about spiritual warfare and all that, but if there is one thing that we can teach our youth, I think it could be you can still trust the church.  You can still trust the authority of the church.  That is a message that needs to be spoken out across our land.

There are many different organizations and denominations, but any denomination that’s lining up with the basic Orthodox views of doctrine is going to be blessed.  I don’t know anybody in all the years I’ve been in ministry, all the college students that have been sitting in my class, or that I’ve sat in the classroom with, who got into ministry because they wanted to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes.  There is nobody I remember who just wanted to use ministry as a way to make money.  I have not met that person yet.

Our world needs to stand in great fear/awe at what God is doing among His people.

iii. Our world needs to stand in wonder again at the mystery of what God is doing among us.

When you think about a mystery, what is indescribable about God?

A mystery is a way to describe the indescribable, and wonder is our reaction to it.

Do we need Mystery and Wonder in this day and age?

Can we authentically connect to what the Spirit is doing among us?

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