The Awesomeness of Jesus
Definitions : “Awe” from the Greek, akhos meaning “pain, grief”, “dread mixed with veneration”; “Awesome” – “profoundly reverential”; “Amaze” – “overwhelming wonder”, “mental stupefaction”; “Astound” – “to stun”; “Astonish” from the Latin, tonare meaning “to thunder” – “thunderstruck”.
“Marvel” – from the Latin, mirabilia, meaning “strange and wonderful things.” “Worship” – “Adoration and honor given to God” (CCC 2096, 2097).
1) Gentiles are Awed by Jesus
- The wise men travel great distances from the East and when they saw Jesus, “they fell down and worshiped Him” (Matt 2:11;ZZ).
- When Jesus drives the demons from the fearsome possessed men into a herd of pigs that perishes in the sea, “all the city came out…and begged Him to leave their neighborhood.” (Matt 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-37).
- When Jesus heals the sick in Tyre and Sidon, “the throng wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking , and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.” (Matt 15:31).
2) His Enemies are Awed by Jesus
- Herod the Great was “troubled” by the birth of Jesus (Matt 2:3) and kills “all the male children in Bethlehem and all in that region who were tow years old or under” (Matt 2:16).
- Jesus commands Satan: “Be gone Satan!” and “the devil left Him.” (Matt 4:10-11).
- The mob that seeks to kill the adulterous woman, drop their stones and disperse in fear and shame when Jesus tells them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (Luke 8:1-11).
- A Pharisee is astonished when Jesus does not follow the rituals for hand cleaning before eating (Luke 11: 38; (Mark 7:1-5).
- The Jewish leadership “feared” Jesus (Mark 11:18) because “all the multitude were astonished at His teaching.” They repeatedly try to kill Jesus before arresting Him in Gethsemane.
- When Jesus responds to the Pharisees who are trying to trick Him regarding paying taxes to Caesar, “they were amazed at him” and “marveled” (Matt 22:22, Mark 12:17).
- When the Sadducees try to trick Jesus in public about marriage in heaven, He corrects them about the reality of heaven, and then “they no longer dared to ask Him any question” (Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27).
- When Jesus cleanses the temple (Matt 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48; John 2:13-16), driving out the merchants, the chief priests and scribes plotted to kill Him, for “they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.” (Mark 11:18).
- While sentencing Jesus, Pilate was “afraid” (John 19:8) and “wondered greatly” (Matt 27:14) and Pilate’s wife warns him to “Have nothing to do with this righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream.” (Matt 27:19), causing Pilate to try to wash his hands of the sin of crucifying Jesus (Matt 27:14-26).
- While attempting to take Jesus as prisoner in Gethsemane, Jesus’ exclamation of “I AM” caused several hundred men (Roman troops and temple guards) “to draw back and fall to the ground”(John 18: 3-6).
- The soldiers who crown Jesus with thorns, even as the mock, kneel before Him (Matt 27:29).
- The Roman soldiers who witnessed Jesus’ death “were filled with awe, and said “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matt 27:54) and “all the multitudes…returned home beating their breasts.” (Luke 23:45-48).
3) The Disciples are Awed by Jesus
- When Joseph and Mary “were astonished” when they found the 12-year old Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:48-49).
- The old and righteous man Simeon saw the baby Jesus, called Him God’s “salvation” and rejoiced that he could die in peace (Luke 2:25-35).
- The old prophetess Anna, saw the baby Jesus and gave thanks to God, calling Jesus “the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36-38).
- John the Baptist, who Jesus calls the greatest among men (cf. Matt 11:11) does not feel worthy to “carry the sandals” of Jesus (Matt 3: 11) or to baptize Jesus (Matt 3:14).
- When Jesus calls to the disciples to follow Him, they leave their professions and families and immediately follow Him (Mark 1:17; Luke 5:27).
- The skeptical Nathaniel exclaims, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” after Jesus tells him that He sees him without being present (John 1:43-51)
- Peter kneels before Jesus, afraid, saying “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Jesus tells Peter, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” (Luke 5:8-10).
- After Jesus taught a crowd from a boat on the Galilee, Jesus causes a miraculous catch of fish and Peter “was astonished, and all with him.” (Luke 5:9).
- Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin, comes to Jesus at night to learn and “marvels” at His teaching (John 3:7).
- The sinful woman quietly crawls to Jesus, “weeping…[and] wet His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Jesus forgives her sins (Luke 7:36-50).
- When Jesus calms the storm that is threatening to capsize the boat, the disciples were “afraid” and “filled with awe” and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him? (Matt 8:18, 23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 13:18-19).
- When the disciples hear Jesus’ teachings about sacrifice and heaven to the rich young man, they “were amazed at his words” and “exceedingly astonished” and “afraid” (Mark 10:24,32; Matt 19:25).
- When Jesus prophesizes His Passion and Resurrection, the disciples “did not understand” and were “afraid to ask” Jesus about the prophesy (Mark 9:32).
- When Jesus walks on the water during a raging storm, the disciples “were terrified” and “utterly astounded” and they “worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’” (Matt 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:15-21).
- After feeding the 5000, Peter tells Jesus that “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20).
- When Jesus is transfigured on the mountain, the disciples “fell on their faces, and were filled with awe” (Matt 17:6) and “were exceedingly afraid” (Mark 9:6; Luke 9:34).
- The mother of James and John kneels before Jesus (Matt 20:20).
- When Jesus curses the fig tree and it withers, the disciples “marveled” (Matt 21:20).
- Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anoints Jesus’ head and feet with expensive oil, to prepare Him for burial (Matt 26:6-13; John 12:1-8).
- When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary see Jesus after the resurrection, they fall at His feet and worshiped Him and “were afraid”(Matt 28:1-10).
- When Jesus appears to the disciples, they were “startled and frightened” and “disbelieved in joy” and “wondered” (Luke 24:36-41).
- The angel of the Lord causes the holy women to flee “from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come over them…for they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8).
- When the eleven disciples met Jesus in Galilee after the Resurrection, “they worshipped Him.” (Matt 28:16-17).
- Saul, a fanatical Pharisee and a key persecutor of Jesus’ disciples, is knocked to the ground and blinded by a light from heaven and is converted by Christ and eventually becomes Saint Paul (Acts 9:1-19).
4) The People are Awed by Jesus
- The Shepherds are “afraid” at the birth of Jesus and then “glorified and praised God” after seeing the Christ Child (Luke 2:8-20).
- When Jesus is twelve years old, He sits among the teachers at the temple and “all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:47).
- When Jesus completes the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7), “the crowds were astonished at his teachings, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matt 7:29).
- When Jesus drives out the unclean spirit in Capernaum (Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:33-37), the people “were all amazed” and “astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority”, and Jesus’ fame spread throughout Galilee.
- A leper kneels before Jesus and begs Him for healing (Mark 1:40).
- When Jesus heals the paralyzed man on the Sabbath, the crowd is astounded: “amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.” (Mark 1: 23; Luke 5:26).
- The skeptical Samaritan woman at the Well meets Jesus and is awed by Him; she brings “many Samaritans” to Jesus who “believed in Him.” (John 4:39).
- After feeding the 5000, the people call Jesus, “The Prophet who has come into the world” and seek “to take Him by force to make Him king” (Matt 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; Mark 6:30-44; John 6:5-13).
- When Jesus heals the possessed boy, “all were astonished at the majesty of God…and marveling.” (Luke 9:43; Matt 17:22-23; Mark 9:30-32).
- The Jews in the temple marvel at Jesus, saying “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” (John 7:15).
- When Jesus raised the widow’s son at Nain, the crowds were astonished: “Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and ‘God has visited his people!’” (Luke 7:11).
- When the woman who bled for 12 years touches the garment of Christ and is healed, He asks “Who touched me?” The woman “came in fear and trembling and fell down before him.” (Mark 5:33; Luke 8:47).
- When Jesus casts out the dumb demoniac and restores him, “the crowds marveled, saying, ‘Never was anything like this seen in Israel.’” (Matt 9:33, Luke 11:14).
- When Jesus teaches the crowds in the synagogue in Galilee, the people “were astonished, and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?’” (Matt 13:54).
- When Jesus raises the dead daughter of Jairus, the crowds “were immediately overcome with amazement” (Mark 5:42; Luke 8:56).
- When Jesus heals the paralytic, the crowds “were afraid and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matt 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26).
- After Jesus gives the man born blind his sight, the man “worships” Jesus (John 9:38).
- The man with the epileptic son comes from the crowd and kneels before Jesus (Matt 17:14).
- When Jesus heals the deaf mute, the people “were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well; he even make the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’” (Mark 7:37).
- When Jesus heals the blind and dumb demoniac, all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” (Matt 12:23).
- When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, many Jews believe in Him and tell the Pharisees, despite the threat of being put out of the temple (Luke 11:46).
- When the crowd sees Jesus coming after the Transfiguration, they “were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him” (Mark 5:42).
- As Jesus walks with the crowds towards His Passion in Jerusalem, they were “amazed” and “afraid” (Mark 10:32).
- The repentant criminal being crucified next to Jesus “fears God” and asks Jesus “to remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:39-43).
- The Roman Centurion “is not worthy” for Jesus to enter his house to heal his slave, and Jesus marvels at the Centurion’s faith before healing the slave from afar (Luke 2:6-10).