Wind and Spirit are often interchangeable in the Hebrew. The Hebrew word is ruach. In Greek it is pneuma. It is the breath of God that gives life, and it is by the Spirit of God – undeniably present even though we can’t see him – that God moves among us. We can’t see the Spirit, and John 3:8 assures us, God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. Or in the words of Contemporary Christian artist Toby Mac “you can’t see the wind but it moves the leaves from the bottom to the top of the tallest trees.”
Heading into the remainder of the spring and moving toward summer we will be focusing on the amazing gospel of Luke. Over and over again we see people responding to Jesus’ words, actions, or presence with ‘amazement.” What it was about Jesus that moved people to that place of wonder at his power, his beauty, his mercy, his grace. Have you been amazed?
Hot on the heels of Easter is a great time to ask this question. We have just come through a most holy week of remembering the sacrifice and receiving the gift of mercy and grace that invites us to embrace new life. Before we run off into the lazy hazy crazy daze of summer let’s take time to wonder at the amazing gift we have received because our Savior humbled himself – even to death on a cross – so that we could stand in freedom and victory over sin and death.
Before he was even born Mary sang a song of victory to God in Luke 1:47-53:
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts; he has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Jesus drove out an evil spirit (Luke 4:36) and all the people were amazed! He healed the paralytic in Luke 5 and everyone was amazed and …filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today” (verse 26). He raised a widow’s son (7:14-17), calmed the storm at sea (8:25), healed a boy thrown in to convulsions (9:42-43), restored a crippled woman (13:10-17), and the people were delighted, and filled with awe and praised God.
What has Jesus done for you that has given you cause to be amazed? Certainly the love of God is wondrous enough, but there are so many pictures in the scriptures that bring me to my knees in awe. Another songwriter captures this image from the Word of God: He is our portion and we are his prize – drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes.
Jesus has freed me from the need to maneuver for position, or strive to attain more, or struggle to achieve. I have received my portion – his name is Jesus. And he is enough for me. He is my portion and I am his prize. Wow. He won me. Yes, he fought for me and he continues to intercede for me at the right hand of God the Father. And it is his kindness that leads us to repentance. It is his mercy that leads us to confess our great need. It is enough to make me eternally grateful – oh how he loves us!