How well do you know Jesus? We all like to think we know Jesus pretty well. I’ve had close to fifty years of wonderful, sweet communion with Jesus. I’ve devoted over forty years of my life to studying and teaching His Word. I’m talking about going back to the original languages and learning as much as I can about Jewish culture, institutions, and beliefs. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Know-It-All. And you can ask my kids: I’m not inerrant or infallible. But still, knowing what I know, I’d like to think I know Jesus pretty good. To my pleasant surprise, however, I don’t know Jesus as good as I think I do. To this day, He still shows me more about Himself. Here, let me give you some snippets of the Jesus I never knew.


Howdy do, y’all. My name is Simon Zelotes and I’s one of Jesus’ apostles. You probly didn’t know dat Jesus had a blind murderer for an apostle, but dat’s exactly what I wuz in a manner of speakin’. Here, set yourself down and let me tell you my story.

‘Fores Jesus called and chose me, I wuz a Zealot. “A what?,” you ask. Well, us Zealots disappeared from off da face of da earth when da Romans crushed da Jewish Revolt in 70 AD. Soon after dat, we all fell at Masada and that wuz da end of us. But back in da day, us Zealots wuz Jewish freedom fighters. We hated da Romans cuz they wuz runnin’ us. Do you know how humiliatin’ it is for proud folks like us to be pushed around and treated like dirt? It’s mighty tough, I do declare!

Some of us guys decides we wuzn’t gonna take it no more. We wuz all so zealous for a free and independent Jewish state dat we wuz known as Zealots. We wuz aimin’ to kick the Roman devils out of our land. You heard of stealth planes dat can’t be seen on radar. Well, dat’s what we wuz on land. We wuz the unseen enemy—attackin’ and killin’ da infidels, den disappearin’ without a trace. We got to be so good at it dat da devils decides they wuz gonna take us on and whup us. “You go ahaid and try,” we all said. We knowed we wuz whuppin’ em good. You can’t imagine how proud we wuz to be fightin’ da world’s most powerful army and causin’ em untold grief.

Somewheres ins between da fightin’ I come across Jesus. You know hows when a purdy gal lays eyes on a guy der ain’t no lettin’ go, right? Dat’s what Jesus’ sermonizin’ done to me. I got hooked. Next thing I knowed, I wuzn’t fightin’ no more. I wuz followin’ Jesus. And dat’s how I wuz called to be an apostle.

Anyways, one day Jesus wuz goin’ ‘bout His way when a Roman centurion comes up to Him and asked Him to heal his servant (Matthew 8:5-6). I wuz livid at da sight of da devil dat I just about got my dagger out to kill da varmint. You see, I wuz blind with hate. Alls I seen wuz a  Roman devil. He wuz da enemy. And as an army officer he wuz definitely nears da top of my death list. Golly, I really wanted to kill da varmint! But somewhere inside me I just froze up. Guess it wuz da hand of God stoppin’ me from doin’ a fool thing.

I just stood there dumbfounded cuz Jesus and I clearly wuzn’t seein’ da same guy. I seen a Roman. He seen a lover of us Jews (Luke 7:5). I seen a devil. Jesus seen a decent man. I seen an enemy destroyin’ our nation. Jesus seen a Jew-lover buildin’ us a synagogue. I seen a heathen. Jesus seen a believer. Imagine dat! Confound it, da devil had the most faith of any guy that Jesus ever met. Jesus Hisself said so (Luke 7:9). I wuz plump dumbfounded! We wuz both lookin’ at da same devil and we wuz both seein’ a totly diffrent fella.

How could I be so blind and wrong? It wuz hate doin’ dat to me. Dat’s how I wuz blind and a murderer (1 John 3:15). It wuz all cuz of hate. I couldn’t see what Jesus wuz seein’ cuz He seen with eyes of love. And when you sees with eyes of love you sees people diffrently dan with eyes of hate. When Jesus done healed da devil’s servant, He done healed me too. He took da hate out of my eyes, put love in my heart, and now I ain’t da rascal that I once wuz. I’m a totly diffrent fella cuz of Jesus and love.

You see, I didn’t knowed Jesus da way He really wuz cuz my eyes wuz all messed up with hate. But when I seen Him with eyes of love, den I seen Him as Love Incarnate. And dat’s when I started seein’ people diffrent too. Cuz of Jesus and love, I ain’t no blind, murderin’ fool no more. Yeah, ole Newton sure got it right: “I once wuz blind, but now I see.” Tank God Almighty I can see. Dat’s my story and nows you know.

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