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Jesus, You Are Enough

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I read an article recently that outlined four questions to ask practising homosexuals by way of challenging their theological arguments. I won't link to it, because I didn't think the first three were particularly helpfully worded, but the last was interesting.

“If you became convinced,” it asked, “that Jesus and the Bible forbade homosexual activity, would you be willing to end your relationship? Would Jesus be worth it?”

It strikes me that this is a question we would all do well to ask ourselves from time to time; its relevance doesn’t end with today’s hot topic.

I’ve been reading Phil Moore’s excellent and challenging little book Gagging Jesus, and the latest two chapters I’ve come to have been on family and poverty.

Families are important. I think you’ll find all the writers on this blog would consider themselves champions of the family, yet I also think you’ll find we all take Jesus at his word when he says “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

If you became convinced that Jesus was asking you to, would you move your family to a different area or a different country, even at just the wrong moment of the kids’ schooling? Would you stay in an inner city area and send your kids to a ‘bad’ school? Would you leave the country to take the gospel to an unreached people group just when your parents were reaching the point of needing more help and care?

Does Jesus matter to you more than these things? Is he worth the sacrifice? Do you trust him to be enough for your family?

What about the poverty one? If you became convinced that Jesus meant it when he said “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matt 25:45), would that change your attitude to your money, your possessions or your lifestyle?

We place a high value on the Bible’s teachings that we should be wise stewards of our resources and that we should honour our parents, but we in the West are in danger of elevating those teachings above the ones about forsaking all to follow him. And I can’t even think of any verses, references, stories or principles that teach the kind of child-centred approach to family that is so prevalent in our culture today.

The question posed at the beginning of this post is not one we should ask only of those practices and habits of which we disapprove. We need to ask it of ourselves, too. Often.

I’m challenged myself as I gaze around my room at the heaps of stuff - some of it useful, some of it decorative, some of it of sentimental value, some of it literally just stuff - with which I surround myself. If it were all stripped away, would Jesus be enough? Of course he would. So what does that mean for how I’m living today? Is Jesus worth more than my comfort and convenience? Do I prize him above everything?

What a challenge!

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