The Verdict

Donald R. Givens
Port Arthur, Texas

It was Jesus' custom to often draw His verdict from the very lips of the individuals involved. By penetrating perception of the innermost thoughts of men, Jesus uncovered the real character of His antagonists. As Nathan rehearsed the story of the little ewe lamb and drew David into pronouncing his' own verdict (2 Sam. 12:1-7), so Jesus drew the proper pronouncement from the very lips of the guilty.

1. Matthew 21:40, 41-here is the parable of the wicked husbandmen who killed the servants and the son of the owner of the vineyard. Jesus asks "When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do unto those husbandmen?" (v. 40). Then, in verse 41 they answer with their own lips and seal their own doom: "They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner . . . therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Vv. 41-43)

2. Luke 7:42-43 -- here Jesus is anointed by a sinful woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee. After telling of the two debtors who were forgiven by their lender of large and small debts, respectively, Jesus asks "Which of them therefore will love him most?" Simon pronounces his own verdict in verse 43, "He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most." Then Jesus made the stunning application to Simon in verses 44-47.

3. Luke 10:36, 37-- here is the account of the "good Samaritan." After telling the story Jesus asked the lawyer of verse 25, "Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers?" And then, from his own lips, the lawyer answered, "He that showed mercy on him." Jesus cinched the matter by replying: "Go, and do thou likewise." (Verse 37)

Therefore, as seen in these three instances and others, Jesus frequently drew the true verdict from the very lips of the parties concerned. Truly "never man so spake."

June 10, 1971