|Topical Bible Study||April 1961|
The Son of God Series—Lesson VIII
Jesus, the Judge
THE Scriptures teach that all things are of the Heavenly Father and by his Son, Christ Jesus. (I Cor. 8:6) It is in keeping with this that the Apostle Paul speaks of God the Father as the Judge of all. (Heb. 12:3) However, the Scriptures also teach very clearly that the Heavenly Father has appointed Jesus as his representative in the work of judging.—John 5:22,27
Jesus made it plain that in serving as Judge he does not carry out his own will, but is merely the representative of the Father, and that his decisions faithfully represent the will of his Father. Jesus assures us that because this is so his judgments are certain to be just. (John 5:30) Since the Heavenly Father has committed all judgment unto the Son, it means that he is the Judge of the church in the Gospel Age, and will also be the Judge of the world in the Millennial Age.
Jesus is a just Judge also because he does not depend upon the professions of those whom he judges. Neither does he depend upon outward appearances and circumstances. While still in the flesh, Jesus was able to read the thoughts of others, (Luke 5:22) and how much more this is true since his resurrection and his exaltation to the divine nature.—Isa. 11:2-5; Rom. 2:16
While Jesus will be the future Judge of all mankind, he is not now judging any except believers. (John 12:47) In his sermon on Mars’ Hill, the Apostle Paul explained that God had appointed a day in which he would judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:30,31) This will be the kingdom age.
Jesus is described in the Bible as being the One whom the Father has appointed to be the Judge both of the living (the “quick”) and the dead. (Acts 10:42; II Tim. 4:1) This means that his work as Judge is all-comprehensive, that all will receive the benefits of his righteous judgments.
Describing the benefits of the future work of judgment, the Bible declares that it will benefit the poor and the needy, and that the oppressors of the people will be cut off in death. (Ps. 72:2-4) This emphasizes the rich blessings which will come to the people of all nations as a result of Jesus’ righteous judgments.
The Scriptures reveal that the future work of judging the world by Jesus follows his second coming, and that he will then be exalted to a position of glory and power. (Matt. 25:31,32) The righteous judgment of Jesus, the Judge of the world, will be manifested both in the abundant manner in which he will bless the righteous, and in the punishment which will be meted out to the willfully wicked.—Matt. 25:34,41,46
As the disciples of Jesus, when raised from the dead and glorified with him, will share in other aspects of his work, so also they will be co-judges with him. (I Cor. 6:2) It is during this present Gospel Age that Jesus’ dedicated followers are being prepared to share in this judging work with him. That preparation involves the testing of absolute loyalty to the principles of divine righteousness and justice. It also calls for the development of sympathy and understanding for the sin-sick and dying world of mankind. In this, and in all other respects, we must become copies of God’s dear Son.
It is good to test our knowledge of our Heavenly Father’s great plan of salvation. How many of these questions can you answer?
The Bible says that God is “the Judge of all” In what way, then are we to think of Jesus as being the Judge?
Whose law constitutes the basis of all Jesus’ judging? What assurance does this give us?
Name one of the reasons which assures us that Jesus is a just Judge.
Is Jesus now judging unbelievers?
How universally will Jesus judge the human race?
Describe some of the blessings which will accrue to the human race as a result of the righteous judgments of Jesus.
What parable did Jesus relate to illustrate his future work of judging the world of mankind?
Will Jesus be alone in his future work of judging the world?
“The Divine Plan of the Ages,” page 142.
“The New Creation,” page 397-399.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
Jesus is a righteous Judge because the law of the Heavenly Father is the basis of all his decisions; and also because he does not depend upon outward appearances, or upon the testimony of those whom he judges. He can read their thoughts, even their hearts.