The Critical, the Curious, and Those Determined to be Changed

Published February 13, 2013

Notice that these three categories of people can be seen in nearly every biblical record of Jesus’ earthly ministry. And each of these categories of people always walked away from the encounter with the desires of their hearts fulfilled.

The critical were made up of the Pharisees and others whose ways of life or positions in life were threatened by the things that Jesus said or did. They watched him very closely to find anything that could justify their rejection of him, and help them in persuading others to reject him as well. Jesus always provided this group with plenty fuel for their fires.

Then there was the largest group – the curious. They made up the majority of the crowds that gathered wherever Jesus stopped to speak or minister to someone’s need. How fascinating it must have been to see and hear what these people saw and heard! They could talk forever about what they saw Jesus do in other people’s lives.

The smallest group was made up of that hand full of people, usually in the worst of conditions, who were determined to be changed by this Jesus that the others were talking about. They were the woman that pressed through the crowd just to touch the hem of his garment; or the blind who, despite the reprimands of the crowd, cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him. In every case, these peoples’ lives were drastically changed. And more importantly, like the woman at the well, these people went on to change the world around them.

Each of these categories of people found exactly what they were looking for in Jesus. Each of them can also be found in today’s attitudes toward Jesus, with very similar results – criticism, fascination or change. Contrary to the phrase that made Mick Jagger millions, maybe we can always get what we want.