“If anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him;
for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects
Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke
is what will judge him at the last day.” (John 12:47-48)
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions
and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He
appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrews 1: 1-2)
Have you ever imagined what it would have been like to be sitting on the hillside where Jesus was teaching His “Sermon on the Mount?” Or what would it have been like to be the third person walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, hearing Him explain His mission to this world after He rose from the dead? I have. There is no greater source of information relating to Jesus Christ than the very words of Jesus Himself. If you want to know what Christianity is, go to it’s source: Jesus Christ, as recorded in the pages of Scripture.
As I look back over my life, I wish I could have known my mother’s father. Grandpa Clemens Thomas Diete was a graduate of both Berlin and Hanover Universities in Germany. He was a veterinarian surgeon, world traveler and, having joined Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders,” was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. He immigrated to America some time in the 1890s. Although he died two years before I was born, somehow I was bequeathed his medical bag and journal. It’s written in German. I don’t read German. And I never heard my grandfather speak. I hold his journal in my hands; but I cannot understand it.
The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that God spoke to man in times past through His selected prophets; but in the Gospel age in which we live, God has spoken to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. But how am I to hear Him? Is His voice still audible? Can I count on Him to speak comfort, wisdom, guidance, and encouragement to me today? In over sixty-five years of following the Savior, I have found the answer to those questions a positive “Yes.” All I have to do was read with my eyes and hear with my spirit.
In their little volume “Jesus Said,” Ron Philpchalk and Phil Wiebe said, “No other individual has so affected the course of history. Yet He wrote no books, cut no records, produced no videos or music. The closest tangible link we have with Him is a few hundred words recounted by His close companions.” Just what did Jesus say to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that I can still hear and see with very own eyes? How does Jesus speak to me?
First of all we need to feast our eyes on every word He uttered recorded in sacred Scripture. It’s right there, if we would just take the time to read it. In His high priestly prayer, recorded in John chapter 17, Jesus prayed to the Father saying,
“I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy Word. Now they have come to know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them.
(John 17: 6-8a)
Jesus said all that He needed to say. We have everything we need from His very voice to guide us in this world. The big question is, are we listening to Him?
Secondly, to go beyond the words of Jesus is simply to listen to Him speak through His apostles. Again, Jesus prayed to His Father,
“As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world….I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word.”(John 17:18,20)
Jesus continued to speak through His apostles. And His words flow right off the pages of Scripture, right there in front of us. If we neglect to read and study the Epistles, we do so at our own peril. Such riches await our looking, our listening, our devoted study.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy in the Church of Jesus Christ today is the apathy of professed believers who have never shared the words of Jesus with another individual. The vast majority of professing followers of Christ have never developed an effective witness for Jesus. Rather than courageously witnessing for Him, they would rather hide their witness, except when they gather with other believers. Alas, the world sleeps in the darkness, while the church sleeps in the light.
My mother had always wondered whether her father, a Roman Catholic, had ever come to personal faith in Jesus Christ. When I was home from college one summer, staying with my parents, my mother gave me permission to search through my grandfather’s large, leather travel trunk. It had carried his personal things to China, the Philippines, and other foreign places. In it I found an amazing piece of paper, a Gospel tract, printed by the Gospel Track Society in Oakland, California. It bore a clear message of salvation and provided a line at the end for someone to sign their name signifying that they has accepted Christ as their Savior. On that line, in a familiar hand, was the name Thomas Clemens Diete.
Today people are searching for truth in many places: nature, science, psychology, world religions, focus groups and personal gurus. My life is being continually transformed as I listen to Jesus as He speaks through His recorded words. How I wish others could come to know Him. I think the time could never be more opportune to know what He said and to share it with people who are in darkness and need His life giving words.
1. Do you know what Jesus said?
2. Do you perceive the value of the words of Jesus and His apostles?
3. Do you have a desire to know and follow His precepts?
4. Are you teaching your children what Jesus said?
5. Are you desirous of sharing Jesus’ words with others?
Lord, speak to me, that I may speak
in living echoes of Thy tone;
as Thou hast sought, so let me seek
thy erring children lost and lone
O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
the precious things Thou dost impart;
and wing my words, that they may reach
the hidden depths of many a heart.
O fill me with Thy fullness, Lord,
until my very heart o’er-flow
in kindling thought and glowing word,
Thy love to tell, Thy praise to show.
O use me, Lord, use even me,
just as Thou wilt, and when, and where;
until Thy blessed face I see,
Thy rest, Thy joy, Thy glory share.
 Philipchalk & Wiebe, Jesus Said (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1995), preface.
 “Lord Speak to Me,” by Frances R. Havergal