“And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.” Luke 20:26
Amazed at His answer, they became silent.
Amazed at His answer.
To be wondered at, to be had in admiration.
Amazed, marveled. This word is repeated often in the gospels referring to Jesus and the people around Him. When Jesus saw the trust that the centurion man had in Jesus’ healing authority, Jesus marveled at his trust. The crowds marveled at Jesus healing the paralytic. When He cast out demons, withered a fig tree, gave sight to the blind, they watched and marveled, often also glorifying God. As Dallas Willard penned, and is still the case now as it was in Jesus’ day, “When we see Jesus as He is, we must turn away or else shamelessly adore Him.”
But do I posture myself before Him to be amazed? My voice still?
In this particular story, the context of the crowd’s silence was that they were trying to catch Jesus in a slip-up. The scribes and chief priests were cunning (but cowardly.) They sent spies to ask Jesus questions about taxes in order to pin Him with accusations. Expecting an answer between two obvious choices, either of which would have brought the indictment they wanted, He instead gave them a God-sized answer from His God-sized counsel. It blew their human-sized categories right out of the water. Amazed and silent. Surprised by His answer and speechless.
Rarely, if ever, am I rendered really speechless. “Motor-mouth” was often synonymous with “Megan” in my childhood. Constant in my over-sharing, apologetic when I steamroll conversations as if I hold a verbal zamboni license, I wouldn’t say there is often margin in my life for silence. It’s not out of the question during meals to look down and find my food untouched because I’ve filled my mouth with so much conversation. Oops. Sorry, introvert pals.
Now, taking into account the whole counsel of God’s word, we are wonderfully invited to a myriad of interactions with the Lord that require words. Confession. Praise. Pouring out your heart to Him. Thanksgiving. Present your requests to God. Call out to Him. We are welcomed to His presence with a full spectrum color palette of expressions that do solicit words!
My question from this passage regarding silence is this:
Do I leave quiet space in my friendship with God for Him to speak as He chooses?
Like the crowd Jesus answered here, do I anticipate His response to be one of two choices without giving Him room to speak on His own accord? Even sadder still, do I guess what His response will be – so sure of myself that I end up not coming to Him at all? …thereby not communing with Him? Do I assume the human voices around me, godly though they be (or not), fill in for the mind and words of Christ? Do I put my own words in His mouth? Or anticipate His answer on my schedule instead of His?
Oh, God! Let that not be!
How often I’ve come to Him, head hanging, waiting for His disappointment and been amazed that He speaks tender love to me instead; or I’ve come with an urgent request only to hear that He wants to lovingly correct a sin pattern instead. If I’m asking for His counsel between two great options, isn’t He allowed to speak something my little mind didn’t even consider? Or what if what’s on my list of top priorities to deal with, isn’t even what He wants to address but something else entirely?
Is there margin in my day (and in my soul) to receive and be amazed by Him?
Lord, help me slow the motor to quietly welcome Your surprising Word. I want to be amazed by You.