Is there any point to it all? Does my life have any point or meaning?
For most people these questions are always there. Perhaps they are just below the surface much of the time, only to force us to give them attention in times of crisis. But they are always there.
Central Piece to Puzzle
Have you ever worked on one of those 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles? Often you come to the point where you realize there is one piece which is central to making the puzzle work. When you find it, it certainly doesn’t mean you see how all the rest of the pieces fit. But you can see that there is a point to it, that all the rest of the pieces will, eventually, somehow, also fit. For many of us here at First Baptist Church, what we have discovered is that life which revolves around Jesus Christ does have a point. When he is at the centre, our life experiences, the learning we’ve accumulated, begins to make sense in a way which it does not otherwise.
The Claims of Jesus
That’s one reason to consider Jesus and what he had to say. Here’s another. Many think of Jesus as just another sort of moral teacher. If that’s all he was, frankly he doesn’t deserve any more attention than any of the world’s other great moral teachers. Actually, he deserves less. C. S. Lewis, an Anglo-Irish literary scholar pointed this out clearly. Jesus kept on saying he was much, much more than another moral teacher. Over and over he made it clear that he was claiming to be none other than God come among us. And if he wasn’t – well he was either mad or an outrageous liar – but certainly no great moral teacher!
The claims Jesus made about himself can’t easily be dismissed or ignored. Some have suggested that Jesus really didn’t say such things at all – that the records of his life (the gospels) aren’t accurate. The only problem with that is for the most part those records were written when there were still lots of people alive who had known Jesus. Many of them had never liked him much and would have been quite happy to point out any errors in the records. And someone who goes about claiming to be God – and isn’t – is hardly a great moral teacher. He might be a raving lunatic. But it’s hard to read what Jesus said and conclude he was mad.
Or he might have been a first class liar – although what benefit he derived from such a lie is a mystery. And then of course what do you do about the hundreds of millions of people across centuries who claim following him has changed their lives?
If he really was who he said he was, then considering him and what he had to say really is the most important thing in the world.
Consequences of following Jesus
What Jesus said was simple – but not easy: Follow Me! Put another way he told people they should put him in charge of their lives – their Lord – and live life in his way. He did not offer an easy way. He did not say that following him guaranteed health, wealth, or a perfect family In fact just the opposite. He warned people that following him would likely make life more difficult in some respects. What he did say was that following him, accepting him as being in charge of life was the way to purpose, and meaning, wholeness, joy, life, freedom, and eternity. We think that’s very much worth considering!