I’m offended. I took a personality test recently, not one of those silly ones you see on Facebook, but a proper one that cost me money. It turns out that I do have a personality, and out of the sixteen personality types I could be, I’m an idealist. I don’t mind that, and it was generally very positive, but the explanation of my personality type started off by saying, “As an idealist you might seem to some people a bit ‘strange’ and ‘lost in your own world’ but this only has to do with the fact that idealists are so unique that many people just don’t get you.”
I don’t like being called strange, and it didn’t help when my wife confirmed I am (!), but the results were so accurate I’d better believe it’s true. It seems that my chosen career should be a teacher, which I was for 37 years, or a counsellor which I’ve aspired to be, and have a real interest in. You may think I’m a bit strange at first, but once you get to know me you can’t help but love me. I’m irresistible.
I took the test for fun, and I’m not going to change my life because of it, but I’m fascinated by how accurate it seems. My wife’s was also accurate but, annoyingly, she’s not strange. How can responses to simple questions produce a detailed analysis of my personality? That’s the question that fascinates me.
Jesus didn’t ever have a personality test, or use one, and yet he was able to understand exactly what people were like, and also what was happening in their lives. He once met a woman for the first time, and knew that she had been married five times, and was living with a man to whom she wasn’t married. He met a man, Nathaniel, who was to become one of his disciples, and he described him immediately as a man without guile, in other words, a decent, honest man. He identified a Roman centurion as having greater faith than anyone in Israel, and he knew that a rich, young man was never going to follow him if it meant giving up his wealth.
Time after time the Bible tells us that Jesus knew what people were thinking. There’s one verse, in particular, that I want to draw attention to. It’s John 2:25 which says, “He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.” Jesus knew the heart of every person he met. He knew whether they were honest or dishonest, kind or unkind, loving or hateful, good or bad. As the perfect man, who was also the perfect God, man’s creator, it should be of no surprise that he knew everything about his creation. He knows everything about you and me too, everything. There is nothing we can hide from him. All the hidden secrets that we keep to ourselves, the things we don’t even tell our husbands or wives, Jesus knows them all.
Does it bother you that Jesus knows all about us? He knows the good and the bad. He knows the things we wish had never happened, the things we force to the back of our minds. It would normally be horrendous for anyone to know all about us. Imagine if it was someone who had a problem with us, and the damage they could do. However, it’s not a problem when the one who knows all about us is Jesus. Jesus loves us, despite the badness within us, despite the sin that we are ashamed of. He loves us so much, he could see all that sin and choose to die for us. That’s exactly what Jesus did. He sacrificed himself so all that badness could be removed from us. It was effectively placed on him when he died, and if we acknowledge this truth and accept Jesus as our Saviour, all those bad things are gone, sin is forgiven. The Bible says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (1)
Sin is gone forever if Jesus is our Saviour. This is a truth beyond wonderful.
- Psalm 103:12