What Would Jesus Say of You?
Jesus easily read people's thoughts. He
approved of and encouraged their receptivity to Christ, he fed
the hungry multitudes with his sermons, and he rebuked those
vial characters who were defiant of God's word. His vantage point
and life lessons were always consistent with spiritual progress,
but we are less consistent, often finding our faith wavering
and our healings incomplete. An example of this inconsistency
is evident in Peter's personal history. For him, Jesus's support
and corrective lectures were always helpful, but his rebuke was
fearful. Yet Peter knew that Jesus never stopped loving those
with whom he shared his wisdom. Undoubtedly, some of our thoughts
and actions would be approved, and some would not. We can use
Jesus' responses to people in scripture and prophecy as a sounding
board to evaluate our own receptivity, faith, and degree of understanding.
Those Whom Jesus Admired
John the Baptist - "Among them that
are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the
Baptist" (Matt 11:11).
Nathanael - "Behold an Israelite indeed,
in whom is no guile!" (John 1:47).
Centurion - "I have not found so great
faith, no, not in Israel" (Luke 7:9).
Zacchaeus - "Zacchaeus stood, and
said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give
to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false
accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him,
This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also
is a son of Abraham (Luke 19:8-9).
Mary Magdalene - "Her sins, which
are many, are forgiven; for she loved much" (Luke 7:47).
Simon Peter - "Simon Peter answered
and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And
Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona:
for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father
which is in heaven" (Matt 16:16-17).
Moses and Elias - Jesus requested their
presence at his transfiguration (Matt 17:1-3).
Joseph of Arimathaea - He "went in
boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus" (Mark
John the beloved disciple - "If I
will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" (John
The second witness - "The Comforter,
which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).
Money changers - "Take these things
hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise"
Peter - "Get thee behind me, Satan:
thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things
that be of God, but those that be of men" (Matt 16:23).
Scribes and Pharisees - "Except your
righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and
Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven"
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men:
for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that
are entering to go in. . . . ye devour widows' houses, and for
a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater
damnation. . . . ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte,
and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell
than yourselves. . . . ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin,
and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment,
mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave
the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and
swallow a camel. . . . ye make clean the outside of the cup and
of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
. . . ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear
beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and
of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous
unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. .
. . Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the
damnation of hell?" (Matt 23:13-15, 23-25, 27-28, 33).
Anyone - "Whosoever is angry with
his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:
and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger
of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be
in danger of hell fire" (Matt 5:22).
Anyone - "Whosoever looketh on a woman
to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in
his heart" (Matt 5:28).
Judas Iscariot - "Woe unto that man
by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that
man if he had not been born" (Matt 26:24).
Bartimaeus - "He, casting away his
garment, rose, and came to Jesus. . . . Jesus said unto him,
Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he
received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way" (Mark
Jairus - "I pray thee, come and lay
thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live"
Woman with the issue of blood - "If
I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway
the fountain of her blood was dried up;" (Mark 5:28-29).
Woman of Samaria - "The woman saith
unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ:
when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto
her, I that speak unto thee am he" (John 4:25-26).
Impotent man at the Pool of Bethesda -
"Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed,
and walked" (John 5:8-9).
Martha's sister, Mary - "Mary hath
chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her"
Two disciples, walking to Emmaus - "Did
not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the
way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:32).
Disciples who were gathered together -
"Jesus . . . stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace
be unto you. . . . as my Father hath sent me, even so send I
you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith
unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (John 20:19, 21-22).
Disciples in the sinking ship - "Why
are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark
Peter at the transfiguration - "Let
us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses,
and one for Elias" (Matt 17:4).
Peter at the Passover meal- "I tell
thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou
shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me" (Luke 22:34).
Disciples who failed to heal a lunatic
- "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I
be with you? how long shall I suffer you?" (Matt 17:17).
Rich man desiring eternal life - "Children,
how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the
kingdom of God! (Mark 10:24).
A disciple - "Lord, suffer me first
to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me;
and let the dead bury their dead" (Matt 8:21-22).
Apostles questioning the necessity to eat
the flesh of Christ - Jesus asked, "Doth this offend you?
. . . Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?"
(John 6:61, 67).
Peter, James, and John in the Garden of
Gethsemane -"What, could ye not watch with me one hour?"
Judas Iscariot - "Betrayest thou the
Son of man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48).
Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane - "Put
up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given
me, shall I not drink it? (John 18:11).
Peter at the morning meal - "Simon,
son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? . . . Simon, son
of Jonas, lovest thou me? . . . Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou
me?" (John 21:15-17).
George Denninger ©