Jesus Is The Answer

Some of you will recognize the name Andre Crouch – a gospel singer who was popular when I was a teen and young adult.  I loved to listen to his music and I loved to sing along with him, and one of those songs was entitled “Jesus is the Answer.”  I was thinking about these words in relation to my time of prayer this morning.  I’ve been praying for our nation; we are in such desperate times.  The anger, the outright hatred and venom that is being spoken; the mistrust; the lies and the blatant disregard for civility are sucking the life out of our nation and our world.  But think of these words from that song:  “Jesus is the Answer for the world today, above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the Way!”  There are too many people, even Christians, who feel like that this is trite, not helpful and a waste of time to believe this, that we need to get busy and change the world ourselves, but I hope you’ll stick with me and read the rest of this and let me tell you why I don’t believe that at all.I believe God brought to my mind this morning the days when Christ was here on the earth.  I thought about the 12 men who we call apostles who were Jesus’ closest followers; I thought about the people whose lives were touched directly through healing, feeding and hearing Jesus in person.  I thought about the religious leaders of the day who were supposed to be leading the people to God but they were intimidated by Him.  And then I thought about those like the Romans who didn’t have a context of belief and their lives were filled with conquest, power and authority and Jesus was nothing more than a disturbance.
We see every one of these groups of people today and more.  There are those who are close to Him, whose lives are lived in a day-by-day relationship and fellowship with Him.  But if we aren’t careful we get our eyes on what we get out of it, what we want, how we think it should be and like Peter we have in mind the things that we want and not what the Spirit wants.  And we find ourselves dictating our agenda to Him.
There are those who have been touched by Him; healing, hearing His teaching and listening to it, being fed by His Spirit and by His words and wanting all that He has for us.  But again, if we aren’t careful, we’re guilty of following Him for what He can do for us, for the food or the miracles or the feelings that are awesome!  And when He doesn’t feed us like we think He ought to or provide the miracle on our time frame we’re out of there!
There are those like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, who have it all worked out.  We have our charts, our lessons, our rules and regulations, our guidelines and our formula has all been worked out.  We know what’s going to happen, when it will happen and what we have to do, right down to the words, the ritual and the attendance.  But again, if we aren’t careful, He will do something completely outside of the box that doesn’t fit our formula and we’ll find ourselves leaving Him and following the formula.
And then there are the people who have no context for Him; they don’t know Him and what they do know is because of people who say they know Him and those people, to them, are hypocrites, liars or worse; they don’t know what He can do; He is a troublemaker, someone who we’ve heard things about and what we think we know doesn’t fit at all into what we want or where we’re going and He becomes a waste of time, a problem to be dealt with, a person who has no power, no authority and no place and we’re ready to dismiss Him completely.
You see, every one of those people in Jesus’ day had an agenda of sorts and if we’re really honest, none of them saw what was coming.  When they crucified Him they emasculated everything about Him.  He was dead and those who had believed He might be the answer were devastated.   To the ones who wanted to get rid of him because He didn’t fit their agenda for what they saw the world as, they were glad to be rid of Him – He had no relevance to where they were going.  To me, that sums up what I see in the world today.
I want to challenge you to check your agenda at the door, whether it is religious, political, personal, holy, the real world, racist, biased, tolerant, closed minded, sacred or secular.  Would you be willing to stop and remember why Jesus came?  He didn’t come to make this world comfortable and safe.  He didn’t come to check the boxes on your list of things to do.  He didn’t come to put the left or the right into the positions of power.  He didn’t come to be the possession of this group or that group.  He didn’t come to give us our rights.  He didn’t come to make sure that everything always made sense.
In fact, He came to save the world from its sin.  Jesus Himself said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).  That doesn’t mean that we aren’t supposed to get involved in our world, in politics, in secular causes, in religious causes, in anything else that we believe will make the world better . . . but it does mean that those things are NOT the answer – He is.  In Mark 1, Mark tells the story of when Jesus went to Peter’s town and he healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a sickness.  That evening the people of the town brought all their sick to Jesus to be healed – literally Mark says, “The whole town gathered at the door . . .” (Mark 1:33).  Mark then tells us that very early the next morning, while it was still dark, that Jesus got up and left the house and went away by himself to pray and when the apostles camp looking for Him, telling Him the people were back and “everyone is looking for you” (1:37), Jesus said, “Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also.  That is why I have come” (1:38).
I know this world is bad and I know you want to change it.  You can’t.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t work to make it better, and do whatever we can to do what is right, but THAT IS NOT THE ANSWER – “Jesus is the Answer for the world today.  Above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the Way.”  There is more power than you could ever image available to you through prayer than you’ll ever have through your agenda, WHATEVER that agenda is.
Jesus IS the Answer!

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