When we go on holiday, start at work or go on a journey one of the key things we have to ask and organise is “What do we need to bring with us?”. We know that we can’t just head out – we need money (or at least some way to access it), we need a coat (most of the year), we need appropriate shoes, we possibly need a bag. And if we have young children, we need a whole load more!
This need of extras is so in-grained that we can struggle when we hear the Bible’s call to Jesus as our everything. The whole Bible points to Jesus, and Jesus only. He is what we need; He is our only Saviour; He is our Redeemer; He is wisdom; He is the answer in our difficulties; He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. It’s Jesus only, nothing more.
But we’re so programmed to want something more. When we have problems as parents we look for the ‘10 things you need to know as parents’, or in anxiety we want the ‘6 steps to deal with anxiety’. In our life we search for the ‘5 points for self-improvement’, and we’re constantly told on Facebook / Instagram / in the media that this is what we need. The result is that we can react badly when someone tells us that ‘Jesus is the answer’ … we want something more, we want a programme, some steps, something to do. But in searching for the more so we miss the answer we really need.
The great and wonderful theme of all of the Bible is Jesus. In not having Jesus, we have nothing. But in having Jesus, you have everything.
You see, Christianity is so different. The great and wonderful theme of all of the Bible is Jesus. In not having Jesus, we have nothing. But in having Jesus, you have everything.
In Hebrews 10:12-14 we read that it is Jesus [alone] who makes us perfect forever. In 1 Corinthians 1:30 we read that Jesus becomes “to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” Look at those words again: [all] “wisdom” – to make right choices and walk well, [all] “righteousness” – cleansing, purity, freedom from guilt, [all] “sanctification” – transformation of mind and heart, actions and words, and [all] “redemption” – belonging, worth, purpose and eternal destiny … all of that is found in Jesus (see also Col 2:3). In Ephesians 1:3 we read that God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Jesus” – He is the source of any and all spiritual blessing we can know.
And its about Jesus in every part of life too. He is the one who is the pattern for our character and responses (Gal 5:16-26). He is the one who know the best path and is my guide (Ps 23). He is the one who is the one I emulate in work and the home (Titus 2:9-14). He is the leader we learn to lead from, He is the parent in whom we see perfect parenting, He is the great disciple-maker from whom we learn how to disciple others. He is the one who was “acquainted with suffering” from who we learn how to cope in trouble and difficulty, He is our stronghold, our refuge in times of trouble, He is the unchanging one in a world of turmoil. In whatever part of life we look, the answer we need is Jesus.
Christianity is very simple – it is about knowing and finding all I need in Jesus.
Christianity is very simple – it is about knowing and finding all I need in Jesus. “For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21); “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil 3:8); “I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 2:2). And so Paul says “One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind, reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal which is the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13)
What is it to grow in maturity as a Christian? It is to “grow into Christ, who is the head” (Eph 4:15-16). Mature Christian living isn’t understanding systems, isn’t pursuing different solutions, isn’t proposing many steps to Holy living. It’s discovering daily how Jesus is the answer in each and every situation I face; it’s becoming more like Jesus in every response I choose; it’s finding my rest and peace in Jesus. It’s finding that when I love Him above all else, then no matter what I lose I will always have my true and lasting treasure. Jesus plus nothing equals everything!