The Messiah has come and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is incredibly good news! While that may seem obvious to most people reading this today, it rarely is contemplated enough. Most of us know that the word “gospel” means “good news”. But do our lives reflect the reality of this amazing proclamation?
Probably not as much as we should.
I was reading a book by Kevin DeYoung recently called Crazy Busy. (I highly recommend it!) In it, Kevin deals with a chapter (chapter 4 to be precise) that highlighted this issue to me in a profound way.
He explains that the Bible is a big book and is full of things to do: love the unlovely, feed the poor, turn the other cheek, sacrifice your will for God’s will, etc. There’s a lot to do! But that, he explains, also has the ability to take away from the gospel message that God intended for us.
You see, the good news is that Jesus accomplished it all. He did everything because He is God and we are not. That was His job and He did it perfectly.
Which brings us to the best news of all.
Our Messiah Complex
This seems like the most obvious point in the world, but when you think about it, it’s not that obvious to most of us! We need to hear this message clearly – as if for the first time.
So here it is in plain English: You are not the Savior of the world.
That just feels good to know, doesn’t it?! So let me help you personalize it even further. Read this sentence out loud: “I am not the Savior of the world!”
In the Bible, in John 1:20, Jesus’ cousin and one of his biggest fans (John the Baptist) had this to say and I believe we need to hear it again today: “I freely confess I am not the Christ.” That seems like a simple and obvious statement, but it brings a lot of freedom.
What John was telling his audience, at least in part, was that the good news was practical for them. He was telling them what you and I need to know still today. That is this: You are important. But you’re not the Messiah. He is. So let Him be God and let Him do the things only He can do.
You see, we all have a bit of the “Messiah Complex” in us. That is, we all try to do things that only God can do.
- We try to save our children and save our friends.
- We try to save our marriages and save our money.
- We work hard to stay busy and do lots of good things for God.
But with all of these trying and doing, we lose the gospel. We lose the good new. We try so hard to earn God’s favor that we lose all of God’s grace and joy in the midst of our endless “doing”.
This is a serious problem.
But let me remind you of something that is rarely talked about when it came to Jesus’ life on earth.
Even Jesus didn’t try to do it all on His own (and He was the Messiah!).
Re-read some of the stories. You’ll see that Jesus, the only true Messiah and God, didn’t meet every need that He encountered. He turned away from some people who needed Him. He left some people behind. He went from one town to another when there was still more hurting and needy people left there. He turned away crowds of people at times so that He could focus on His friends.
So here’s the good news (again) for you and I: it is okay if we do the same.
In fact, it’s more than good news; it’s great news! You don’t have to do it all. Isn’t that great!? I know for me it really is.
Do you need to be fully engaged in what God is doing? Yes!
Do you need to care about the things that God cares about? Yes!
Do you need to do certain things that He is calling you to do? Absolutely!
But do you need to try to do it all? Absolutely not! You can’t.
We all have a cross to carry. That’s true. It won’t be easy and it’s definitely not cheap. It is going to cost us something. However, Jesus is asking you to follow Him. Not be Him. There is a big difference and there is a lot of good news in that message for you and I today.
So remember: there is only one Messiah. And you are not Him! That is such great news!Jesus is asking you to follow Him. Not be Him. Click To Tweet