…to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonish greatly; to throw out of position, displace; to amaze, to astonish, throw into wonderment; to be amazed, astounded; to be out of one’s mind, besides one’s self, insane

From Biblegateway the word ‘amaze’ is a keyword in 48 Scripture verses in the NIV. Most of them are New Testament references to Jesus during His ministry. The ESV lists 26 references, also mainly from Jesus’ ministry. In these verses the crowd or Pilate or the parents or the disciples were ‘amazed’ – as well they should be…

The word ‘amaze’ in Greek is ‘Existemi’ – it shows power and causes wonder. Jesus was amazing in the signs and miracles He performed, in the way He treated people – friends, relatives, and strangers. People were amazed when He healed someone, when He to calmed the storm, when demons were driven out, when Jesus spoke with unprecedented wisdom… Jesus was amazed in the faith of the Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13)

But there is one seemingly out-of-place definition – ‘to throw out of position, displace’? What does that mean? The Hebrew word ‘tamah’ for ‘be amazed’ is used in Hab 1:5 NIV Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. It is quoted in Acts 13:41 and uses a double imperative for emphasis! A literal translation might be – “Shock yourselves and be shocked!” In modern-day terms,  this would be a “game-changer. It will rock your world.” This prophesy in Habakkuk is a great message that God is in control among the nations. It’s in essence reminding us of God’s omniscience and omnipotence in Isaiah 55:8-9.

Are we amazed today? If so, by what kinds of things? All these Biblical references to ‘amazement’ deal with spiritual issues. Jesus was not amazed at the construction of the Temple or wonderful government systems in place in Rome. What should it mean individually – to ‘be amazed’? Using the Greek word  definition of ‘amazed’, amazement and wonder are reserved for things that are beyond understanding. Amazement is God with all His attributes!

So am I really amazed at someone’s intellect or that a team scores a lot of points or that certain people ever make it anywhere on time? Not really… I may be curious or excited or jealous or proud – but I’m not really “astonished, thrown into wonderment, beside one’s self, displaced’ by it.

Now being amazed by God is another thing:

In the Christmas season, are you amazed by traffic or fabulous parties and decorations or great deals on gifts or the bills piling up or wonderful singing or stockings and trees?


will you be amazed by the gift God gave us – a gift only He could give – Himself.