In the sixth chapter of Mark's gospel, there are two uses of the word amazed that caught my attention.
The first is in verse two and doesn't come as a surprise at all:
When the Sabbath came, [Jesus] began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?"
Well, who wouldn't be amazed at the things Jesus said and the things Jesus did? The Scriptures were being brought to life and personally applied in ways never heard before. Cripples were walking; the blind could see; the deaf could hear!
True, the source of their amazement was that they couldn't fathom how all this wisdom and all these miracles they had heard about could be springing forth from a local boy they had known simply as "the carpenter's son."
Honestly, that might be connected just a little to the surprising second usage of amazed, found in verse six:
[Jesus] was amazed at their lack of faith.
Wait...what? Jesus was amazed?!!?
Well, who wouldn't be amazed at anyone who had heard what they heard and seen what they had seen and yet didn't believe?
But the story isn't over. In Mark's very next paragraph, he tells us how Jesus gave the twelve disciples an opportunity to put their faith into practice. Because you see, it's one thing to say you believe something and another thing to actually take action in alignment with that faith:
Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff — no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Truth is...The story still isn't over. I say I believe in Jesus, but do I really have the faith to think the Holy Spirit could work through me the way the Spirit worked through him?