24 Now then, my children, listen to Me; pay attention to what I say.
I see Jesus three ways: Compassionate, sorrowful, and angry. Let’s discuss them.
Jesus was compassionate toward all people. He received anyone who came to Him. “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away [cast out].” John 6:37. All He desires is for us to follow Him with an undivided heart. We have passages like Luke 9:57-62 of the three men that Jesus either called to follow Him or they asked to follow Him; He wanted them to follow Him, but they needed to do it with an undivided heart. We have the rich, young ruler in Mark 10:17-30 who, again, had a divided heart. We even have Judas, who walked three years with Him, but still betrayed Him, which brings up the next way I see Jesus.
Jesus was sorrowful. He is known from Isaiah 53:3 as a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. It broke His heart that people would not receive Him. But, they had to have the choice; it was the only way for everyone to have free will. One of the biggest rejection accounts (besides the crucifixion) is found in John 6. Jesus required that they believe Him to be the Messiah on His terms rather than theirs. Upon hearing Jesus’ way of putting things, “many of His disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?'” (verse 60) and many turned away (verse 66). Jesus turned to His 12 disciples and asked them if they would leave, too. Peter was quick to reply, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (verse 68). He had a pure and undivided heart.
Jesus was also angry at times. It is interesting that the only people with whom He got angry were the religious leaders. They weren’t just not following Him; they were leading other people astray. Jesus had this to say about them:
13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Matthew 23:14
15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. Matthew 23:15
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Matthew 23:37
Within 40 years, that generation of leaders did, indeed, see “the Son of Man coming in the clouds” as He brought judgment upon Israel and particularly Jerusalem through Rome just as He did through Assyria and Babylon. They would not accept Jesus as the Final Sacrificial Lamb and stop the ceremonial sacrifices, so Jesus brought an end to the Old System Himself. The sacrificial system has never been “resurrected.”
There are two nuggets of wisdom to draw from seeing Jesus in these ways:
- Jesus loves those who receive Him. He bestows all of His kingdom treasures on those who choose Him, “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God–” John 1:12
- Jesus Is LORD. Everyone WILL bow the knee to Him. We have this promise in Philippians 2:9-11,
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
We serve a risen Lord! Let’s serve Him with everything we have!
Abba, when I look at You in the Scriptures, I see You in the human form of Jesus (Philippians 2:6-8). I should think of Him as nothing less than You in the flesh (Matthew 1:23, John 1:14). May my readers see You this way, too, even as we tell of Your patient endurance with us, Your compassion, and Your AGAPE love (godly, selfless love that gives what we need rather than what we deserve). Amen.