Sunday, January 15, 2006

Jesus' Performance Feedback

I work in a large corporation.  Each year, my boss at the time (I’ve had 25 or more different bosses in the past 31 years), gives me written feedback on how I am doing.
In the last decade or so, a common practice has been for the boss to solicit feedback from my peers, my subordinates, and from other managers in the company.  I also get a “rating” which is a little like getting graded on the curve.

I am far from perfect.  So it behooves me to listen to the feedback I get.  This year, I was sad to see that my “grade” had dropped some.  Also, along with a lot of really nice comments, I got quite a few that hurt.  As I struggled to make sense of it, I wound up spending a long time praying and reading the bible one Sunday morning.  Suddenly I had a thought: if someone had collected feedback on Jesus, what would it be like? Unlike me, Jesus did a perfect job of carrying out his job assignment, and he loved every single person he met.  

I spent a couple of hours scanning through the book of Matthew in the New Testament (NIV translation).  Jesus is quoted a lot, of course.  I also found at least twenty instances where a person or group was quoted saying something specific about Jesus.  Then I sorted them into those corporate speak standards:  Strengths and Opportunities.  
Unlike the comments I received, I am able to see who said what. They are as follows:

Strengths:

“We saw his star when it rose and we have come to worship him.”   the wise men

“This is my Son, whom I love. With him I am well pleased.”   God the Father when Jesus was baptized

“He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”   Isaiah (quoted from a prophecy he made about 800 years earlier)

“What kind of man is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey him.”   his disciples

“Could this be the Son of David?”   a large crowd

“Truly you are the Son of God.”   his disciples

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”   Peter

“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.”   God the Father when Jesus was transfigured

“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”   Peter

“Surely he was the Son of God.”   Roman officer and his soldiers


Opportunities:

“Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”   An angel speaking to Jesus’ father

“This fellow is blaspheming.”   some religious leaders

“Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”   two demon possessed men

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”   religious leaders

“It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons”   religious leaders when Jesus healed a mute man

“It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”   religious leaders when Jesus healed a man who was blind and mute

“He has spoken blasphemy.  Why do we need any witnesses?  Look now, you have heard the blasphemy, what do you think?”    high priest among religious leaders

“He is worthy of death.”   religious leaders

“I don’t know the man”   Peter

“Crucify him.”   a large crowd

“He saved others, but he can’t save himself!  He’s the King of Israel.  Let him come down from the cross and we will believe in him.  He trusts in God.   Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said ‘I am the Son of God’”   religious leaders

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