Blessed… Greatly Amazed

11 Jesus was brought before the governor. The governor said, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “That’s what you say.” 12 But he didn’t answer when the chief priests and elders accused him.

13 Then Pilate said, “Don’t you hear the testimony they bring against you?” 14 But he didn’t answer, not even a single word. So the governor was greatly amazed (Matthew 27:11-14, Common English Bible).

The radio in my car has a USB port where you can put songs on it, resulting in our ability to carry many more songs than one could hold on a single CD.

In general, I find the whole concept of USB flash-drives pretty amazing. When I bought my first computer it didn’t have a hard drive in it. It only had 2, 360KB floppy drives (I know I am dating myself). I lived with it that way for a year or so and then I bought a 40 MB hard-card. That meant I could put on that one hard-card as much information as I could put on 120 floppy discs. I thought I was uptown. I thought I would never run out of disc space. Imagine my frustration when I filled up that drive.

Fast forward to today. I was looking for a flash drive online. I found two that were interesting to me. One is the 128GB drive pictured above. Something the size of a dime can now hold more than 3000 of my old 40MB hard card. I also found they make a 2TB flash drive. Suffice it to say, that is a lot of data on something less than 3 inches long and less than an inch wide. Further, I haven’t even touched on the idea of cloud storage. We might sit here for days talking about that one.

That is absolutely amazing.

Today we get amazed over many things in our technology driven world.  Still, as amazing as that can be, I find people even more amazing, from both positive and negative perspectives. I am often amazed what people are able to do to make the world a better place. I think it is equally amazing what people can do that could tear the planet apart.

As Jesus stood before Pilate, Pilate is all but directly asking him to defend himself. If only Jesus will defend himself, it would at least seem in today’s lesson that Jesus would be able to walk away. Clearly, it is what Pilate wanted but he probably couldn’t come right out and say as much.

Pilate is utterly amazed, more amazed than I was when I saw that tiny dime-sized flash drive that can hold more than 3000 of my old hard cards that were pretty close to state-of-the-art back when I bought it.

It seems strange to see someone who makes no effort to defend themselves. Why would a person (and Jesus was fully human) not defend himself. Back only a chapter ago, Jesus is praying for the cup to be taken from his hand but he says, “Not what I want, but what you want.”

Pilate is amazed. You or I would probably be amazed until we realized that what Jesus was doing would save the world. Then it makes us realize the truth of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” When you think about it that way, Pilate isn’t the only one greatly amazed with Jesus, we should be too.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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