The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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     If you are familiar with GSTV (Gas Station Television), you may have seen replay footage of an athletic contest, heard some pop culture news, or a bit of trivia. GSTV typically offers a “word of the day” which is a real word, with a real meaning, but perhaps not utilized in one’s vocabulary real often.
     While pumping gas recently, GSTV popped onto the screen on the pump with the “word of the day.” The word was gobsmacked. I would guess that I am about 50:50 in recognizing and knowing the “word of the day.”  Gobsmacked fell into the 50% group of words that I did not know or recognize but fortunately GSTV offered the definition as “amazed, astounded, astonished.”

     Not content to limit my understanding of gobsmacked with a definition consisting of only a few words, I did a little research and learned that gobsmacked is a compound word that employs the Irish/Scottish term “gob” (slang for “mouth”) with the verb “smack” (meaning to “hit”) to result in a  literal rendering of gobsmacked as “to be hit in the mouth” with the practical application as “to be speechless; utterly astonished or astounded; overwhelmed with wonder; shocked; filled with awe.

     ”While gobsmacked might be a new word to add to your personal vocabulary, the Bible records numerous occasions in which people were gobsmacked particularly as related to Jesus, his ministry, and his teaching. For instance, “And it came to pass, when Jesus ended these sayings, the people were ‘gobsmacked’ (astonished) at his teaching” (Matt. 7:28). Similarly, Matthew 22:33 offers “And when the multitude heard [this], they were ‘gobsmacked’ (astonished) at his doctrine” while Mark 1:22 presents, “And they were ‘gobsmacked’ (astonished) at his doctrine/teaching for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” (see also Mark 11:18, Luke 2:47 and 4:32, et al).
     Regarding Jesus’ ministry of healing, Mark 5:42 records “And straightway the damsel arose, and walked…and they were ‘gobsmacked’ (astonished) with a great ‘gobsmacking’ (astonishment).” People were also gobsmacked at Jesus’ authority as recorded in Mark 1:27 (“They were all ‘gobsmacked’ (amazed), so that they debated among themselves, saying: ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” Also in Matthew 8:27, “The men were ‘gobsmacked’ (amazed) and said, ‘What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’”  
     As noted in the examples above, being in the presence of the Lord is a gobsmacking experience that causes a gobsmacking (awe-inspired) reaction. Luke records, “They were all struck with ‘gobsmacking’ (astonishment) and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear/awe, saying, ‘We have seen remarkable things today’” (5:26). In similar fashion, being in the presence of someone who has been in the presence of the Lord can also (and should) have a gobsmacking effect. Following the healing of the lame man at the temple gate (Acts 3) that led to a confrontation with Peter and John by the Sanhedrin (Acts 4), scripture records “When they saw the courage of Peter and John, and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were ‘gobsmacked’ (astonished) and took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
     Have you ever been gobsmacked? Well, have you? Have you received the gobsmacking (amazing) and saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ? Are you gobsmacked (overwhelmed with wonder and filled with awe) that you are loved in such a way by God that he would offer his only son to die for you and your sin?” John 3:16, Romans 5:8 and 6:23b, and Ephesians 2:8-9 highlight God’s gobsmacking love and grace. Is the gobsmacking power of the Holy Spirit evident in your life as you develop and deploy your giftedness in and through the church? Like the religious leaders with Peter and John, are the people you encounter gobsmacked (astonished) and do they recognize you as someone who knows Jesus and walks with Him daily (Acts 4:13)? In other words, do others see the gobsmacking presence of Jesus in your life and are they drawn to Him through your actions, attitudes, words, and deeds?

     I pray that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding and gobsmacking “yes!” If not, I would love the opportunity to visit with you and introduce you the gobsmacking (amazing, astonishing, astounding, awe-inspiring) and living Lord who desires for you to walk in newness of life with Him!