Impressions. First impressions. Lasting impressions. So much money is spent, so much energy is expended, and so much time is used for the sake of making impressions. Attempts to make impressions are demonstrated in what we drive, how we dress, where we go, and how we talk. Impressions can be motivated from seeking acceptance as well as instilling fear. And of course, not all impressions trigger the hoped for response. No one knows this more than a poor soul struggling through the awkward dating years or a yet clueless husband who takes his wife literally when she said she didn’t want anything for her birthday.
Consider with me attempts to impress God. The Bible tells us that wisdom of man is foolishness to God so He is not likely to be impressed with our intelligence. Check that one off. Maybe you have an artistic flair that is quite good. Maybe you can really paint a beautiful sunset. But you are copying what God created for you to see. Plagiarism, you can’t impress God that way. How about good looks and dressing sharp? Whoops, God sees us first thing in the morning. It is hard to impress anyone at that hour. Money doesn’t impress God since everything is His anyway. We are only using some of it for a few years.
How about if we explore the area of doing good things? Let’s consider giving. Certainly, if we give a whole tithe, literally 10% of what we earn we can impress God. Well, the Pharisees did that and Jesus humbled them by pointing out a widow who gave her last cent to the church. There doesn’t seem like much hope here for most of us anyway. Let’s explore the idea of doing good things, like feeding the poor, volunteering, and being a good neighbor. Again, we have a problem. The Bible tells us that our righteousness is like filthy rags to God.
Two times in the Bible we read of things that impressed Jesus. One is when a Roman centurion asked Jesus to heal His servant by merely speaking the word. Matthew said that Jesus marveled at his faith. In Mark, Jesus was trying to minister in his home town. Very few believed there was anything special about Jesus. Mark said the Jesus marveled because of their unbelief. Here it is. Jesus was impressed by great faith in Him and He was impressed by a lack of faith. My question for you today: What impression are you making on Jesus?