What Do You Think of Christ?
James Smith, 1860
"What do you think of Christ?" Matthew 22:42
This question was proposed by himself, to one party — but we may carry it to many; for Christ is thought of in all worlds, by every order of beings.
What does God think of Jesus? He says, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." No one thinks so highly of him as his Father, and no one can speak of him in such lofty and endearing terms.
What do angels think of him? Unquestionably they also think highly of him, and are intensely interested in his work, therefore they desire to look into it. They hymn his praises, and delight to do his will.
What do devils think of him? They think him to be the Son of God, the holy One of God, and the appointed judge of all; and though filled with enmity against him, they have such high and exalted thoughts of him, that they tremble before him.
What do lost souls think of him? Ah, who van tell what their thoughts are! But no doubt they have many honorable thoughts of Christ, and that their thoughts of Christ increase their sufferings, in consequence of the vivid discoveries they have of their folly.
What do true believers think of Jesus? They try to think of him as God thinks, and are never satisfied with their own thoughts. Their best thoughts appear poor, their highest thoughts appear low, and their warmest thoughts are cold. They wish their thoughts to be worthy of him — great, grand, and glorious. Still, they think him to be chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely.
What do seekers think of him? Ah, they so think of him, that if they could but realize their saving interest in him, if they could but enjoy union to him, and communion with him — it would be all they desire. To them, Jesus appears as the one thing needful, the all and all.
Now, Reader, what think YOU of Christ? No doubt but you do think of him at times. You have some thoughts of him. Do you think of him often? Do your thoughts naturally run out to him? Do thoughts of Christ warm your heart, enliven your mind, and feast your soul? Do you think of Christ, as the miser thinks of his gold — as the lover of pleasure, thinks of his anticipated amusement — and as the glutton, thinks of his delicious food? Our thoughts of Christ, show the state of our hearts toward Christ; and in a sense, show the thoughts of God towards us. If we think rightly of Christ — it is a sign that our hearts are right with him; and if our hearts are right with him, it must be because we are taught of God; and if we are taught of God — then, the thoughts of God toward us are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us an expected end.
Thus by our thoughts of Christ — we may pretty well guess how God thinks of us. Again, therefore, I ask you, reader, What think you of Christ? Is he worthy of your love? If so, do you love him? Is he worthy of your trust? If so, do you trust in him? Do you think that his blood is able to cleanse you from all sin? If so, do you apply to it, to be cleansed by it? Do you think that his righteousness will justify your soul? If so, do you apply to be justified by it? Do you think that his grace will sanctify your nature? If so, do you apply to be sanctified by it? In a word, do you believe that Jesus came to save you? If so, do you come to him, to be saved by him? If you do not, is it not clear that you do not realize your danger as a sinner, and that you do not desire to be saved from the wrath to come?
Now, if you think that Jesus can save you — and yet you do not come to him to be saved by him — is it not clear, that if you are lost, all the blame rests with yourself? Suppose I was sick, and my sickness was likely to end in death — but there was a physician living near to me whom I thought could cure me — but I would neither go to him, nor send for him — what would people say of me? Would they not say, either, that I did not wish to recover — but would rather die; or that I was insane? And suppose not sending for the physician, that my pains increased, my sufferings became dreadful, and I lived on for years in that state — who would pity me? Would not everyone say, that I deserved to suffer?
And, what, what will be said of you — if thinking that Christ is able to save you, you neglect to apply to him and perish? What will they say of you in heaven? What will they call you in hell? What but a fool, a suicide, a madman? Once more I ask, "What do you think of Christ?