Picturing Jesus

It is easy for those who love Jesus to picture His face alive with love, compassion and character. People flocked to Him and marveled at His words. Jesus spoke in pictures and His illustrations stretch our imaginations to the max. He speaks of a man who cleans the outside but not the inside of his cup. Another man swallows an entire camel—humps and all. We are to turn the other cheek and be slapped a second time and go two miles when only one is required. A person cannot remove a splinter from his brother’s eye while a log is in his own. One wonders if Jesus sometimes smiled as He drew His verbal pictures.

His parabolic teachings flow from the mind of God, alive with illustrations from nature. He speaks of fig trees and birds, of good shepherds, of weeds growing amid the wheat and of those who hide their talents in the sand. When He is asked about divorce, He moves right past the laws of Moses and takes the case directly to God. He carried no books with Him in His travels and borrowed no quotation from the authors of his day. Using only the Old Testament as a reference, His teachings were wholly original and went straight to the hearts of men.

Jesus grasped the truth of a situation immediately, as we see in His conversations with the woman taken in adultery and the woman at the well. He spoke often and pointedly against injustices and cleared the temple of those who exploit others. He realized when men were trying to entrap Him with His own words and knew what men were thinking. As we draw close to Jesus Christ, it is vital that we realize He knows our innermost thoughts and loves us anyway.

Jesus’ words are alive with a quick imagination that breathes life into every parable and illustration. He thinks in pictures. He is the Light of the world. He speaks of grooms and pearl merchants, of farmers and fishermen, of a shepherd dividing his sheep from the goats, of a woman sweeping the house for a lost coin and of a father longing for the return of his prodigal. He tells of children playing in the marketplace, of a man building his house upon the sand and the blind leading the blind into the ditch. Jesus envisions a candle burning under a bushel basket and men offering pearls to pigs. An owner pulls his ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath day, and a rich man feasts while a beggar eats his crumbs.

Jesus never apologized for anything He said or did and retracted no statements. He accepted no flattery. The Lord had no hobbies. He is not interested in philosophy. Tradition did not bog Him down. He gave no credence to the religious bigots of His day. Titles, power and position held no attraction for the Son of God. He ate with tax collectors and sinners. He was free from ambition. When He died, He left no lands or estate. Jesus’ demeanor and teachings are the natural flow of thoughts of One who connected spiritual truths with natural experiences. The Gospel record is of great importance in our quest to know our Lord better. To form a composite picture of Him, we must read the New Testament—and we must read it often. A study of His words, thoughts and habits help us in our endeavor to become more intimate with Him. 

Maxim of the Moment

I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. - George Burns