What Will You Say to Jesus?

What Will You Say to Jesus?

One day we will stand before Jesus.

If we could see through the clutter of our lives now, if we could envision that day when everything is said and done, it’s clear that the enduring mission in and under and beyond every detail of our lives should be about pleasing him. What does he think?

What will he say?

We don’t know the exact words Jesus will speak to us on that Day, though the Bible gives us some ideas (Matthew 25:23). Whatever it is, we can be sure it will be glorious and full of grace. We will hear his voice. It will be amazing.

But what if we turned the question around? Instead of just wondering what Jesus might say to us, what will we say to Jesus? Imagine with me for a moment that you are there with him and he asks you how you made it to heaven.

“How were you saved?” he asks.

Easy, you think. “A person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in you, Jesus, and so I believed in you in order to be justified by faith” (Galatians 2:16).

“Yes,” he says.

But then imagine he asks a follow-up question. He wants to press deeper. He wants you to see more of his glory. Imagine, as John Piper ponders in chapter four of Five Points: Toward a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace, that Jesus asks you, “Why did you believe on me, when you heard the gospel, but your friends didn’t, when they heard?”

You know that is the case. We all have friends, family, people we know, who have heard the gospel but do not believe. And some, sadly, will refuse Jesus all their lives. And there you are, on that Day, and Jesus is asking you why, why you were one of the ones who believed.

“Why did you trust me but these others didn’t?”

You hear his words. You bow your head. And you do not say it’s because you’re smarter. You don’t begin to explain your faith as the result of your wisdom. “Well, Lord, you see, I was just more spiritual than they were.” “I read more books than they did.” “I always had a way of making good decisions.”

No. You won’t say that.

In that moment — picture it — in that moment you and I and every blood-bought saint will put our hands over our mouths, pointing to him, not us. Grace will stand forth with more vividness than we could have ever dreamed. There will be new dimensions of colors then — depths and wonders that we can’t see through the dim mirror of now.

And then, in that glorious moment, we will say, “You, Jesus. It was all you. We believed in your name, only by your sovereign grace. Jesus, it was all you.”


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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.