What is so special about Jesus?
What made people stop and talk about Jesus?
What made people want to hear more about Jesus?
What made people change their schedules to get a glimpse of Jesus or to hear him speak?
So many things. One of them was his teaching. Over and over again, people would be struck to their souls by the words that came out of him. They used words like "astonished," "amazed' and "authoritative." Matthew recorded, "When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law." Matt 7:28
What was so amazing about his teaching? Was it the words? Was it his style? Was it new and different topics? Was it his power? Was it his truth?
As the religious leaders took time to create theological, political and logical traps, Jesus always responded in ways that turned the question around and pierced the heart and mind of his plotters and listeners. One example was when the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus by asking "Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?"
If Jesus responded, "Yes," the crowds would have turned against Jesus; a win for the Religious Leaders. If Jesus responded. "No," the Romans would come after and arrest him; a win for the Religious Leaders.
Jesus responded, "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it." They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose image is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied.Then Jesus said to them, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed."
Jesus re-taught them how to be a God honoring citizen. More importantly, he also struck to each person's center by challenging each person with whom is their God. The coin clearly bore the image of its owner, Caesar's. Each human bears the image of its Creator, Jesus.
So, this astonishing teaching is a soul-haunting challenge. Are your hands, feet and mouth being used by Jesus to serve every person you encounter; Christian and non-Christian alike?
Do you, as a Christian, who bears the image of Jesus, reflect Jesus' image in everything you do, say and are? Does each person you encounter every day, marvel in their minds that you must have met with Jesus that morning?
When was the last time you served someone in a way that they wondered about Jesus?
When was the last time you talked about Jesus' amazing teachings with someone, especially a non-Christian?
What is Jesus wanting to do in your life this Easter season?
How does Jesus want to use your hands, your feet and your mouth each day?
How is your life reflecting the image of Jesus?
Are you giving back to God what is God's?
Are you still astonished about Jesus or do you take him for granted?
Willing to show the image of Jesus,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.