November 04, 2022
"You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time," is the adage. But it is more essential to remember one eternally true statement: "We can never fool Christ."
Jesus knows you. This is good news for some and horrific for others. His evaluations are real-time and always pure, purposeful, and perfect. One day in Christ's earthly life illustrates this, as He deals with three types of people.
JESUS ALWAYS CONDEMNS A PROUD HEART
Most of the religious leaders of Christ's day were hypocrites. They pretended to love God, but their sole passion was to be seen by men. There was no genuine desire to glorify God. When Christ entered, claiming He was God, they instantly and violently reacted because they reserved that place for themselves.
They came to Jesus with one motivation: they wanted to destroy Him, even to the point of His extinction. If they could discredit Him, they thought they could maintain their position and power among the people. In Mark 12 (and Matthew 22), they began questioning Jesus with several snares designed to trick Him. Jesus easily handled their questions in ways that brought greater credibility and amazement to everyone. And He instantly evaluated these men, for He knew them.
But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, "Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? (Matthew 22:18)
The Pharisees and Scribes attempted to bring him to their level, explaining Him away so that they would not have to acknowledge His lordship. It was a useless exercise, for Christ knows everything and has the keys to eternity. Pharisees may have their moment, but in the end, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
He described them through the parable of the vineyard owner (God), who sent his slaves and ultimately his son to receive the proceeds of his own vineyard. They beat the slaves and killed the son. He foretold such evil men’s end.
"What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. (Mark 12:9)
As they continued to press Him, He warned the crowd plainly that they should beware of such men who "for appearance's sake offer long prayers, but these will receive greater condemnation." (Mark 12:40).
Jesus knew them.
JESUS ALWAYS RECEIVES A SEARCHING HEART
But one scribe came to Him with an honest question about the greatest commandment. When Christ reminded this man that the most important thing was to love God and others fully, the searching scribe agreed. No resistance, no rebuke, no trickery. He heard and learned.
The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him. (Mark 12:32)
And then we see how well Christ knew him. He recognized a tender, honest heart and prophesied about this man's future.
When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34)
Those who come to genuinely know Christ come in stages from unbelief to faith. But only the soft heart will gain the kingdom. Every man or woman must ultimately leave their challenges at the door and gladly bow before the All-Knowing One. This man was close.
Jesus knew him.
JESUS ALWAYS APPLAUDS A GIVING HEART
The final scenario on this day was Jesus observing a widow's giving. Others put in large sums. She gave "two small copper coins which amount to a cent." She had no desire to be seen by men, "but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on" (Mark 12:44).
It was the complete sacrifice from a loving heart that blessed Christ. A heart so overwhelmed with God that she cared nothing for her own well-being. She trusted her life to the One who made her and would provide for her both present and future. She lived now to worship Him. An unseen act was eternally memorialized by the Savior. As she honored Him, He forever honored her.
Jesus knew her.
HIS EVALUATION AND PURPOSE
The differences between Jesus's evaluations and ours are that He is always perfect in his assessment and redemptive in His intent. He reminded us in one day of the overwhelming beauty of humble, searching hearts and the hideous hypocrisy of proud, self-absorbed hearts.
As He looks at us today (and He does) what does He see? We can be assured that He knows us as no other and longs to grow those He's created into His likeness. But there must be one thing about which we make no mistake: Jesus knows.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You know me. You know where I am and where I should be. Like David, "Search my heart" and reveal to me its groundwork. Help me lay my objections at Your feet—my endless excuses and proud blindness—and humbly come to You. Give me a pure heart that lives to love you fully and trust You completely.
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