In reading the Word yesterday I ran across a verse in Luke 20 that struck me. Verse 26, speaking of the scribes and chief priests, reads, “… but marveling at his answer they became silent.” Did you catch that? Those religious leaders who despise Jesus are marveling at his teaching. The same group of men who, just a few verses ago, sought to capture Jesus in order to put him to death (v. 19), are amazed at his answer to their question. The conclusion here is clear: a heart can be amazed by Jesus without trusting Jesus.
There are two applications I think we can draw from this:
First, we should not assume that a person is a follower of Christ just because he/she is amazed by witnessing something God has done or said, like a direct answer to prayer, the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching, or a medical recovery that doctors cannot explain. A person may stand awe-struck by God’s power much like king Nebuchadnezzar when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not burned by the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:24, 28), but just as with Nebuchadnezzar, may go right back to a “me-centered” life soon thereafter, proving their unbelief (4:28-30).
Second, even as believers, being amazed by something God has done or said does not mean that we are walking in right fellowship with him. There may still be sins that we need to confess and turn from and there may areas of life wherein we need to begin to trust God’s promises instead of the lies our hearts so often believe. Walking in faith is a much better indicator of spiritual health than walking in amazement.