John 7:45-46 ¶ Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?” ¶ The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by beauty? Maybe it was a beautiful mountain view, a towering line drive, or maybe a beautiful face (like the first time I saw Parris). When Jesus was here on earth that was the effect He had on people. Sometimes it was in a profound word, other times in the stilling of the wind and the waves. People were stunned with amazement when He multiplied the fish and the loaves, opened the eyes of the blind, forgave the prostitute, withstood the jewish elders, and raised Lazarus from the dead. They rubbed their eyes in amazement when He walked on water, cleansed the lepers, and cleansed the temple with a whip. But the most shocking of all His deeds is when He transforms a heart and makes them new. The demoniac in Gadara was like that. One day angry and violent, the next day meek and mild talking about Jesus of Nazareth. Don Everts describes this incredible effect Christ had on the people of His day.
“Jesus was entirely new and different and stunning. There was just something so clear and beautiful and true and unique and powerful about Jesus that old rabbis would marvel at his teaching, young children would run and sit in his lap, ashamed prostitutes would find themselves weeping at his feet, whole villages would gather to hear him speak, experts in the law would find themselves speechless, and people from the poor to the rugged working class to the unbelievably wealthy would leave everything….to follow him.”
Have you been stopped in your tracks by His amazing beauty? For me it came suddenly and powerfully. One minute Christ was a great, mysterious teacher that lived in another country many, many years ago. The next moment, He was the center of my life. What grabbed my attention? It was His greatest act in His short 33 years on earth; it was the way He died. It was why He died. He gave His life on purpose and He did it for me. When I saw it, I thought “How could have missed it for so long? He was there under my nose all these years.” In those first moments that He became real to me I couldn’t even breath. I was gasping for breath between the sobs and tears. His love literally took my breath away and at the same time breathed new breath into my lungs. Somehow I was alive for the first time. I had been stopped in my tracks by His beauty and love.