THE STRENGTH OF JESUS

Jan 7, 2021 | Gilbert’s Podcast

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THE CHARACTER OF JESUS episode 1

by Gilbert Kimeng

About This Episode

THE STRENGTH OF JESUS

“And they were all amazed.” – Mark 1:27

  • What was the first impression which Jesus made upon his contemporaries? What has been his first impression on you? Had he impressed as subdued and meek, calm and effeminate? Have you seen him always as many a painter has painted him: pale and ghastly, sickly, emaciated? 
  • Not so did he seem to the people of his day. Open the Gospel according to Mark. In the very first chapter he tells you in four different places what impression Jesus made upon men.

First Impressions

  • He first tells you of the impression Jesus made on John the Baptist. John was a mighty man, none mightier than had ever appeared in Judea; but John said there’s coming one mightier than. 
  • When Jesus presents himself to be baptized, a remarkable thing happens. John had called men to repentance; he had faced the greatest men of his day without flinching. He had baptized the great and small, the high and low, the rich and poor, the learned and ignorant.
  • But when this man from Nazareth appears, John falters and draws back and says: “I cannot baptize you. I have need to be baptized by you.” 
  • Such was the impression which Jesus made on the intrepid reformer from the desert.
Other illustrations:
  • Jesus walks one day along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and sees two men fishing; he says, “Follow me,” and straightway they left their nets and followed him. A few steps further on he sees two other men and says to them, “Follow me.” And they left all and followed him. 
  • He goes into the synagogue and begins to teach, and they are amazed, not at what he says, but the manner in which he says it. He teaches them as one having authority and not as the scribes. There is something in his voice that pierces and cuts and thrills, a tone that they have never heard before. It is the note of authority, the note of strength. 
  • There is a sick man in the synagogue, and Jesus heals him, and again the people are surprised because God has given such power to a man.

In these four instances the first impression of Jesus is the impression of authority, mastery, power, leadership; he is a man of strength.

  • Wherever he went he was surrounded by a crowd. Only a man of strength draws to him great masses of men.

Schooled and Unschooled

  • It is noteworthy that widely different classes of men are drawn to Jesus: The Publicans and sinners, the great unwashed crowd. 
  • But Nicodemus, a member of the Supreme court of Palestine, also is attracted. And the Roman centurion also is drawn, saying to Jesus, “I know what it is to command and so do you. There is an enemy in my house which I cannot order out; you speak the word and he will depart.”

Not only did Jesus draw men to him, but he stirred them whenever they came near him.

  • Have you ever noted how many times the evangelists say in speaking of the people: “They were astonished;” “they were astonished with a great astonishment;” they were amazed.” 
  • Matthew never says, “I was surprised.” Mark never says, “I was amazed.” John never says “I marveled.” They write, all of them, with an arm of marble; there is no feeling in the fingers that hold the pen. They simply write in cold blood the effect which Jesus had on others. 
  • When we want to stir men’s hearts, we appeal to the dead; when we search for the great, we descend into the grave and we talk of like Shakespeare and Caesar, of Charlemagne and Alfred the Great, of Lincoln and Webster – we dare not use the name of a man living. 
  • That’s what the Jews did. The name of no man living was great enough to convey their idea of the strength which they felt resided in Jesus. 
  • Pilate is afraid of him. He is the representative of Caesar in Palestine. He is clothed with authority. Nevertheless, Pilate is afraid of him. He draws back from him, wrings his hands in uncertainty, washes his hands and tries to get rid of this man. He feels like there is power in him unlike any power he has ever come in contact with before.

 

No Middle Ground

The finest proof of his power can be found in the intensity of the hatred and in the intensity of the love which he excited.

  • He stirred tempest in the heart; he awoke serpents in men. He drove them to madness until they cried out in frenzy, “Crucify him.” Only a great man can do that. You cannot hate a weakling, a ninny. You can hate Nero or Napoleon or any giant, but you cannot hate a nobody. 
  • The men that are loathed and feared are men of genius, who have in them extraordinary capacity for bringing things to pass. 
  • But if Jesus drove some men to hate him, he drove other men to love him. He kindled a devotion that is superior to anything that has ever been known in the world.

He was so Mighty that when men thought of Him, they thought of God.  

Is this the picture you have of Jesus? That of a man of incredible strength!

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3 Comments

  1. Max Laplanche

    What a great portrait of Jesus you drew before my eyes. Better than a painting , much like a reflection of Him in the eyes of each who met Him.

    Such a great perspective to see Him as his contemporary saw Him. Man of great power, above what is commonly found in all men in History.
    He makes us see the best and worst of us depending on how we are him.
    Thanks for this picture so well drawn of Jésus.

    • Gilbert

      Hi Max,
      As mentioned in the intro video and Episode 1, these thoughts are from a book that helped me with my portrait of Jesus many years ago. I am revisiting it and thought others would be encouraged by its rich picture of Jesus.
      Your encouraging comment confirms that thought – glad to share the experience with as many who care to listen. Please keep spreading the word in the same way about the true picture of our Master.

  2. Max Laplanche

    Hope you saw my comment

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