Luke 10:16 “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
What did Jesus look like? Some portraits depict him as a light-haired, fair-skinned European. Some depict him as a curly-haired, dark-skinned African. Others reflect other nationalities. Jesus’ Jewish heritage suggests we can dismiss some of the artists portrayals. The truth is we don’t know what Jesus looked like.
What did Jesus sound like? Was he a bass or a tenor? Was his voice soothing or would it cut glass? It is hard for us to say what his voice sounded like to people 2000 years ago. Today it sounds just like the person who is speaking his words to you at any given moment.
Isn’t that what Jesus was telling the disciples when he said, “He who listens to you listens to me…”? As long as they were saying what Jesus’ said, those who heard them were listening to Jesus. The disciples’ words were not their own. They spoke with the full authority of Jesus. The Lord was speaking through them.
That truth delivers an urgent warning. We ignore those who are speaking God’s word to us at our peril. Though the person may be no more important, no less sinful, than we are (whether pastor, family member, or friend), it may as well be Jesus himself standing in front of us when that person is speaking God’s word. Rejecting those who bring us God’s word is the same as rejecting Jesus and his Father. Those who reject the Savior’s words now will themselves be rejected on the Last Day.
But what great comfort to know that Jesus is still speaking to us today! We have more than vague impressions in our hearts that some interpret to be God communicating with them. We have the clear, powerful, certain words of Jesus speaking to us when they are preached from the pulpit, or taught in Bible class, or shared between Christian friends. We still have Jesus’ own word that he has forgiven our sins and guaranteed us heaven. When we are listening to such precious promises, Jesus speaks today.
And what a privilege that sometimes Jesus sounds just like you and me, because we speak for him, too. May his promise to speak through us give us confidence to speak for him often.