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Monday: Jesus’ Treatment of People — 20 Comments

  1. I am still reading Matthew, but this morning I want to look at how Jesus interacted a specific person. I will have more to say from Matthew later in the week.

    One of the most significant of Jesus' personal interactions recorded John 3. His interaction with Nicodemus resonates with me, probably because I am an academic. Nicodemus was a leading Pharisee; Jesus called him a teacher. And because he held a prominent position, he came to Jesus at night.

    Jesus challenged Nicodemus, "You must be born again!" It brings to mind the approach that my physics lecturer used to use when he wanted to talk to us about spiritual things. He would say, "Have you ever thought about this ...?" and he would launch into a challenging combination of new physics and appreciation for the creative design of God.

    Here is part of the conversation recorded in John:

    Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

    Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

    “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

    Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:1-8 NIV

    Nicodemus responded to the challenge, "How can this be?". This was outside the box for him and he had to rearrange his thinking to accommodate it. Jesus had asked the question, "Have you ever thought about it this way?" - an approach that challenges the mind of any true academic with a thirst for understanding.

    It is no wonder that in the dead of night, Jesus in a private conversation with Nicodemus, spoke one of the most loved verses in the whole of Scripture.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

    We are not told a lot more about Nicodemus. We know that when Jesus came to trial Nicodemus stood up and said that Jesus should be given a fair trial.

    Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” John 7:50,51 NIV

    And later he together with Joseph of Arithamea prepared Jesus body for burial.

    Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. John 19:38-40 NIV

    Most of Jesus' interaction with the Pharisees was condemnatory because of their hypocrisy, but there were Pharisees who were willing to listen and even respond to the challenge that Jesus presented to them.

    • Hi Maurice -
      It was a joy reading your story about Nicodemus as you weaved your own words with the words of Scripture.
      Reading the Word in partnership with words of personal understanding forms it into our 'own' story and adds the 'human touch' to the Word - personal, internal experience.
      The Breath of Life does wonderful things when combined with the Holy Spirit - it expresses Truth in all its various forms.

      • Hi Sis. Redvil. Thank you for your concern. There are currently no fires of concern in Australia. However California is experiencing fires and our thoughts and prayers are for the folk who live there.

  2. I would like to focus on treatment of others because I do believe that is one of the key game changers of our day. Jesus looked for the best in others and looked beyond their visible flaws both physically and in their action or speech. He was not quick to judge nor did He say careless words that hurt others. On the other hand we as people often do exactly that judge too quickly, say thoughtless words that hurt and tear down instead of building. This week I pray that the Lord may help us to be intentional about looking for and affirming the good in others, may we refuse to see that which does not build others and not bring it to life by speaking it and pointing it out. Let us practice this starting with those we live with and spread it to those we are in contact with daily. Surely this will make our world better as we imitate Christ our Lord and Savior.

  3. Our words should be seasoned with grace/salt. I needed to hear this very text this morning. Thank you Jesus.

  4. Truth is truth, either take it or leave it. Well in my opinion truth is found in Jesus Christ.

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    John 14:6 KJV

    1st I don't use the words Truth is truth. I quote Jesus words in John 14:6. For me this has dissolved long fruitless discussions. 2nd I never use the words take it or leave is, that is judgemental,and is contrary to Christ method of winning friends and influencing people.

    I am not saying it is wrong to say I disagree, but the insulting, and judgemental words need to be left out.

    Have I slipped from this noble testimony? Yes, occasionally, though this weeks lesson gives and will give me encouragement, and inspiration to stick with a Christ like interaction with people consistently, by strength from The Holy Spirit.

    Lord give us the Christian finesse to speek the truth in love, thank-you. In Jesus name Amen.

    • Yes, we must never use the truth to bludgeon others and the " take it or leave it" attitude leads to insensitivity and harshness.

  5. Great comments!
    This was a good lesson it really narrows in on how Jesus treated people and how he had compassion on people. When we deliver truth in a way that’s harsh and lacking grace this becomes a truth in itself and distracts from the message. We must be mindful of the what of truth (content), the how (delivery), and most importantly The Who (Jesus).

    • Good day Brethren. I believe the Monday's lesson is very important and should cause us to contemplate as a denomination how, in the past, we have sometimes presented the gospel to others who in our view 'need to hear the truth'. Many times we have used scripture to bash others, particularly followers of the Roman Catholic Church and have not sought to speak the message in love. We have said 'Amen' and urged our preachers to 'tell them like it is' when we felt they were hitting the hearers hard. Then we when these persons reject the message, in some cases because of the way in which we have presented it, we excuse ourselves that we have done our part, they have heard and they are without excuse in the judgment. I have many members quote, the scripture that 'we can now shake the dust of our feet as a witness against them in the judgment'(Matthew 10:14, Luke 10:11, Acts 13:51. May God forgive us for the lack of humility and lack of compassion we have displayed and help us to do better.

  6. For leaders of the faith like the Pharisees, they need the hard truth more but those in search of the saving grace of Jesus are different. God sees the best in them and when He leads them to us, we need to also see the good in them, not their many very obvious and glaring frails. I grew up with harsh criticism and that has become my normal. Its acerbic tone challenges me and increases my insecurity, but encouragement inspires me to do more. God wants us to see the good in others to inspire them in their pursuit of Him. We are the road signs of those people, we can only point them right towards Jesus. I'm praying for strength and mindfulness to give sincere compliments and to find the good, even when i can't see much at first glance.

  7. If Jesus' goal was 'to bring out the best in people', what is this 'best'? Nothing we have can be included in the transformation from 'sinner' to 'saint' - so what is it that Jesus brings out?
    Eph.2:8,9 - It is 'Faith', and not even this is of our own making, it is the gift of God to be able to believe and experience His Mercy. We first believe, then we trust, then we apply Faith which will carry us home.

    When Jesus met me personally, He found confusion, resentment, irritability, frustration, disappointment, but also hope - always hope! What touched my heart was the consistency of the Word of Truth when seeing it in true colaboration with His actions; this is how He treated me - accepting everything that I am with the promise to form in me spiritual, 'true' Life.

    Matt.8:10 - 'verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.' There is great faith and there is little faith, but it takes Faith under all circumstances to receive Jesus into our heart.
    I 'love and appreciate' true Authority, that's why I am so happy with Jesus! I recent man's authority when it is demanded in the absence of righteous conduct; Jesus was willing to submit to 'unrighteousness' leading to death - something sooo incredible to fathom.
    Jesus, though new to me as a Son of God, earned my respect, admiration and love by just beeing Himself! In a way He said 'take it or leave it; you see me, the messenger, and hear the message'; I was drawn to His selfless authority and had enough spiritual hunger to accept His offer. His 'Word' fell on fertile ground! 🙂

    Regarding Jesus' conduct - what became admiration in some of the people who watched His Life unfold became a thread to others who saw their Authority challenged and slowly errod.
    Authority always partners with power and influence. To the believer, this authoritative power promised the birth of the new, true Life; to those who felt threatened, it foreshadowed the end of their unchallenged authority in which they had invested their identity; to them it meant 'death'.

    The Centurian was familiar with Authority and a compassionate man; it was a trusted environment to speak and act from because authority is result-oriented. Jesus' response shows His delight in someone familiar with His type of authority; He acknowledge His pleasure showing His appreciation that the Centurian trusted Him; this indirectly spook to the Centurian's understanding of true authority.

    Luke 8:5-15 does not speak of the disposition of the sower as he sows his seed. The Word stands on its own authority! Jesus is shown to be sensitive about His surroundings, but He never compromised the integrity of the Word of Truth, the Way and the True Life.

  8. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edges sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12

    Jesus treatment of people

    The way Jesus treated people is the way we should. He used tact to do his work. Harsh words but tactfully. He never encouraged them to continue in sin. In our day many want to live in open or closed sin and do not like to be corrected. Why did John the Baptist lost his head? I was listening to an AY program on Sabbath about singles living like married people in the church. Should we let people live and die in their sins to be politically correct?
    In the Bible some prophets were fiery which some were calm. How were both set treated. Elijah was told he was the one who troubled Israel.
    Many people think I am such a nice, kind, good person at work. I do my job, converse, and tell them about Jesus. I don’t tell them what they want to hear but about what the Bible says. Those in 70-80 who still speaking about my girlfriend, nicely I encourage them to get married.
    Ezekiel 18 spoke about personal responsibilities of Christians. If we allow men to die in their sins, their blood will be on our shoulders. Have you ever been in church and the Pastor or a visiting Pastor while preaching, you are thinking he is preaching about you? His words were piercing you like a Spear? If so, why so?

  9. The lesson stated that the compliments Jesus gave, opened the hearts of the centurion and Nicodemus. The way I read these two stories, leads me to believe that these two men were already opened to hear the gospel. They had been watching Jesus, in the background, assessing if this man was for real or just another transient preacher. Jesus words and his actions, brought them to seek him out. THAT is what our lives need to look like, our words and actions need to draw people to come find out about the God we know.

  10. What we say to encourage others must be upon consideration of the individual we would encourage. To encourage someone ruled by pride and selfishness would only fan the flames of their pride.

    Jesus' examples are there for us to learn from, and follow with the same intention He always had for every soul He came to die for. We are warned that we cannot praise or flatter anyone without placing them in danger.

    We need the wisdom and power of the Spirit to live and work as Jesus did by this same Spirit(Acts 1:8).

  11. Nice comments from you all, brethren!
    Ephesians 4:15 says," But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:...."

    Now, the opposite ends up drawing people to Satan while speaking the truth in love aids people to grow in Christ. The 'to hell with you' method profits not at all..
    Also we shouldn't reject the truth because of Love (selfish Love).
    Let's make our new ministries winsome.
    Happy Sabbath from Eastern Nigeria.

    • Hi Joshua, this is a sister writing to you! 🙂 I find it wonderful that this blog receives comments from around the world! We truly are the world-wide family of God, rejoicing together in fellowship with each other, praising God continuously!
      Happy Sabbath from Alaska! 🙂


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