THE BREADTH OF JESUS

Jan 25, 2021 | Gilbert’s Podcast

Episode 7

THE BREADTH OF JESUS

PART 1

JESUS THE SAME 

PREVIOUS EPISODES

THE NARROWNESS OF JESUS |episode 6

by Gilbert Kimeng | Jesus the Same

The Poise of Jesus |episode 4

by Gilbert Kimeng | Jesus the Same

About This Episode

THE BREADTH OF JESUS

  • There is a sense in which Jesus of Nazareth was lacking in breadth. He had apparently no desire to see the world and was content to spend his life in Palestine.
  • He walked a path which was narrow and refused to give his approval to men and measures which won the esteem and praise of thousands of his countrymen.
  • But there was a purpose in this narrowness and a reason for it. His narrowness was a product of his breadth.
  • He walked the narrow path because he carried in his heart the dream of an empire which was vast.
  • By carefully tending the fire which he had kindled, he made it hot enough to change the spiritual climate of many lands.
  • By persistently treading a single path, he made that path so luminous that every eye can see it.
  • By being faithful in a few things, he won the place of Lordship over many cities; and by limiting himself, by making himself of no reputation, he founded a kingdom broad as humanity and of which there shall be no end.
  • If you study the New Testament, you will see that this man, from the beginnings, carried the world in his eye and the race on his heart. What strange paradoxes one finds one finds in the realm of the soul. If you would be broad, then be narrow. Jesus was narrow because his breadth was immeasurable.

BREADTH BRINGS CONFLICT

  • It was the breadth of Jesus’ ideas and sympathies which first brought him into conflict with his countrymen. The Jews, as a people, were proverbially narrow and bigoted.
  • They divided the world into two parts and placed am almost impassable gulf between themselves and all other races.
  • The Jews were an exclusive and haughty and aristocratic race, constantly thanking God that they were superior to all other nations.
  • But the spirit of Jesus was different.
    • In his very first sermon in Nazareth he called attention to the fact that in the days of Elijah, God had picked a widow outside of the promised land for special consideration and honor and that in the days of Elisha, although there were many lepers in Israel, God had passed by them all and healed a Gentile leper, Naaman the Syrian.
    • And when Jesus began to eulogize the widow of Sidon and the Syrian king, their hearts became so hot within them that they broke up the meeting and tried to mob the preacher.
    • This is really the beginning of Jesus’ conflict with the world. The narrow-headed villagers of Nazareth were driven to the edge of murder by the breadth of a mind which went beyond them.

BROAD ENOUGH FOR ALL AGES

  • The amplitude of Jesus’ ideas is evidenced by their perennial freshness and applicability to all kinds of men and conditions.
  • Many ideas shrivel and dry up with the lapse of time. Political ideas have a strange fashion of passing away, and so do scientific ideas.
  • But the ideas of Jesus have such breadth that they can cover the world and the ages.
    • So broad are these ideas and so universally applicable to the demands of the mind and the needs of the heart that each succeeding generation down to the end of time will take its place in the congregation of the prophet of Nazareth.
  • Broad, indeed, must be the ideas which can cover all peoples and kindreds and tongues throughout all the eras of their existence.
  • And his heart was as far-reaching as his brain. The social sympathies of Jesus were, to his countrymen, a surprise and a scandal.
    • There were men in Palestine who were under the ban of public opinion These men were known as Publican (tax collectors). Jesus’ heart went out to these men. He talked with them, ate with them.
    • Not content with this, he took one of them into the inner circle of his intimate friends and allowed him to go out and teach and work in his name.
  • Even in Jericho, this big-hearted prophet took dinner with one of the most notorious of all the Publicans – to the consternation of the people in the land.
  • The picture entitled: “The Pharisee and the Publican,” which shows that God’s heart is more responsive to a penitent Publican than to a vainglorious Pharisee.
  • There was only one set of men lower than the Publicans and they were the Samaritans. Jesus befriended them.
  • He gave religious instruction even to a Samaritan woman and healed even a Samaritan leper. So wide was his heart that there was room in it for a Samaritan outcast whose flesh was rotten.
  • And, as if determined that all the world down to the end of time should know the width of his sympathies, he painted a picture which men will look at as long as they have eyes to see and hearts to feel, and the name of the picture is “The Good Samaritan.”
  • What havoc this man made with the traditions and customs of his countrymen!
  • His great, loving heart burst asunder all the restrictions. There was room in his soul for everybody.

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