I was thinking about Jesus the other day and realized that he didn’t really say a lot during His recorded life and ministry.
You might ask, “How much did Jesus actually say?”
All told, the Bible consists of over 800,000 words, according to an online source. Of those Jesus spoke some 2,026 of those (and by extension since the whole Bible is inspired by God, Jesus then inspired the rest of them too).
In the mix of all of these words, we watch and listen to Jesus throughout His public teachings, private instructions, healing discourses, and His intimate communication with individual people. And in those numerous conversations whether with a centurion, a priest, or His disciples, Jesus’ words always carried the weight of relevance and application far beyond the original exchange.
It wasn’t just the statements Jesus made either; He entered conversations and asked questions… in fact several times some questions were brought as the answers to prior questions!
In His ministry as a vagabond preacher, Jesus told various short parables that we’re still interpreting and walking out to this day (cultural differences aside). Wherever he went Jesus was never particularly long-winded.
Sure there was the Sermon on the Mount, the Last Supper’s discourse, and several other moments where His teaching was lengthy; but it was never about the quantity of His words but rather it was the quality of His words.
Though we might have a relatively small number of teachings/words from Jesus, what He did was much more important than what He said! Clearly it’s not the count but the content that matters.
I think about the presidential candidates we’ve been listening to on a daily basis for the last many months. They’ve been making speeches and campaign promises with grandiose statements about foreign policy or domestic strategies and programs to solve the problems we face as a nation. Some of the recent campaign stops in this primary election have had candidates pontificating more in a week than Jesus did in his entire ministry.
The fact is, everyone wants to be heard, and there's nothing wrong with wanting people to know your opinions or position (especially when your opinion has been requested).
However, expressing ourselves can become awkward:
- when it’s excessive,
- when it silences others,
- when the the speaker lacks knowledge that speaks into the given subject
Often such excessive speech relies on incessant babble while trying to figure out how to get away from the spotlight they prematurely took on… it gets embarrassing.
In this political season as we hear the surplus of solutions to what pains Americans, while these are important issues lets not get lost in the storm: let’s be sure to look to the One who brings freedom and healing to all of mankind.
Ultimately, Jesus spoke just enough words for you and I to know His character, to believe in Him, and to experience new life!
- Pastor Marty