Page 14 - March 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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“      mazing,”  “astounding,”  “awe-  a mild or a fleeting interest. This marvel
               some,”  “unbelievable”  –  these   was not a mild sensation to be ultimately
        Asuperlatives, and others like them,   dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders.
        have become part of everyday speech. Be-  It went far deeper than that; it was a sense
        loved by headline writers, advertisers, and   of wonder, an almost physical sensation as
        commentators of all sorts, they scream at   people came face-to-face with something
        us from every angle, attempting to arrest   so  dramatically  out  of  the  ordinary  as
        our eyes and attract our attention, often   to demand their attention and stir their
        only to tell us about something mundane,   souls to wonder. In fact, the English word
        ordinary, and pedestrian. The result is as   “marveled” (sometimes translated “won-
        inevitable as it is regrettable – through   dered” or, in newer translations “amazed,”
        overuse and misuse, these words lose their   “astonished,” or “shocked”) translates the
        power, and leave us at a loss when we at-  Greek word thaumazō, which has at its root
        tempt something that really is awesome   the idea of a response befitting the mani-
        or unbelievable. And our understanding   festation of the supernatural.
        as well as our expression is diminished.   It is no surprise, therefore, that almost
        It is difficult for us to grasp exactly what   all of the 47 occurrences of the word in
        Newton meant by “amazing grace,” to   the New Testament describe the response
        grasp the force that the adjective had for   of men and women to supernatural mani-
        him, and the sense of astonishment and   festations. With the exception of Revela-
        wonder that flooded his soul as he con-  tion 13:3, which describes the response of
        templated what God had done in saving   the world to the satanically empowered
        such a wretch as he.                 healing of the beast’s deathly wound, it is
          “Marvelous” and “marveled” are words   divine action that causes men and women
        that have suffered a similar fate to some   to wonder. And preponderantly, it is Christ
        of the more commonly used superlatives.   Who moves men to wonder. Time and
        Though  they  now  sound  slightly  old-   again in His movements amongst men, His
        fashioned, they convey to us approba-  actions, His words, and even His restraint
        tion – “you’ve done a marvelous job” – or   burst the seams of normal expectations,
        pleasurable surprise. It requires an effort   demonstrating  an  authority  that  came
        on our part to grasp the original force of   from  another  world,  and  causing  men
        the word: “to be filled with wonder or   to realize that they were in the presence
        astonishment.”  But, when we read our   of no ordinary power – and no ordinary
        Bibles, it is precisely such an effort that   man. Their normal expectations and usual
        we  must  make.  When  we  read  about   explanations were alike shattered by the
        people marveling, we must not imagine   surprising Savior.

        78   TRUTH kTidings   March  2019
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