Strange Things

“Amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God. They were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”—Luke 5:26, River Bible

The world is weary and longs for something novel. The greatest stranger in the world is Jesus, but He is the least seen and the least spoken of by most people today. If people were to observe Him, they would see many amazing things. His life, death, and teachings are so full of strange things.

In Luke chapter 5, we encounter Jesus in a teaching moment, when a man is brought to Him by way of breaking up the roof of the house to get him into His presence. When they do, in just one short sentence, Jesus pardons the man’s sin. “Young man, your sins are forgiven”—verse 20, NLT. The crowd in attendance, especially the Scribes and Pharisees, thought this very strange.

So Jesus proceeded to practice thought-reading. “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins”—verses 22-24, NLT. Strange and amazing, isn’t it?

But Jesus wasn’t finished with them. He healed the forgiven man of his paralysis and ordered him to pick up and carry the bed which had carried him. Strange and amazing, isn’t it?

Jesus, the Maker of men, who was born among men; the Infinite—an infant. Jesus, the Lord of all serving all. Jesus, the Just One accused, condemned, and sacrificed for sin. Jesus, the Crucified One rising from the dead. Jesus, by His dying, death was slain. Strange and amazing, isn’t it?

It was John Newton who was quoted as saying: “When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there—the first wonder will be to see many people there whom I did not expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many people whom I did expect to see; and the third greatest wonder of all will be to find myself there.”

But there is still one more strange and amazing event yet to come. It is described in the book Early Writings by Ellen G White: “As the disciples gazed sorrowfully toward heaven to catch the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, two angels clothed in white apparel stood by them and said to them, ‘Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven’ ”—Early Writings, p. 191. The disciples and the mother of Jesus, who with them had witnessed the ascension of the Son of God, spent the following night in talking over His wonderful acts and the strange and glorious events which had taken place within a short time.

The second coming of Christ! This is the moment to which all creation moves! This will be the moment of all moments—the glorious and triumphal soon return of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

This will be, my friends, the strangest and most amazing thing of all.

Donald G. King is president of the Atlantic Union Conference and chairman of the Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees.