Isn’t it amazing how Jesus constantly seemed to look through a different lens at life throughout the Gospels? For example, when the rich young ruler in Luke chapter 18 asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”, Jesus responded, “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me.” In John chapter 12 Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life”. Again, when a man following Jesus said to Him in Matthew chapter 8, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father”, Jesus responded, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” All of these examples from the life of Jesus reveal that Jesus truly was looking through a different lens upon the issues of life than what the world looks through. The world looks through the lens that inflates the “value” of possessions, that gives justification for living life for “king self”, and that puts the “American Dream” ahead of the Great Commission. What can we learn from this drastic difference between the perspective of Jesus and the perspective of the world?
Jesus found His full satisfaction in His relationship with the Father. That relationship was completely sufficient to fulfill every need and passion that Jesus would pursue.
This concept is so difficult for many Christians and undoubtedly the world to grasp. In America, we are taught to pursue our dreams and to “be successful no matter what it takes”. The thing is, we often find that our dreams don’t have at their core a hard pursuit after the things of God. We often believe that our needs are sufficiently met through the worlds idea of satisfaction and happiness. However, to follow Jesus is to realize that He and He alone is fully sufficient for everything in our lives. Paul completely understood this. In one of the most often quoted passages in the book of Philippians chapter 4 verse 13, Paul said, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” We often take that verse to mean Christ will empower us to achieve whatever we set our minds to. However, the context of the passage reveals something very different. Paul was rejoicing, not in the fact that God had made him healthy and wealthy, but in the fact that God’s provision was sufficient in whatever circumstance he found himself in. Paul said in verse 12, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound, In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Paul understood this incredibly important reality for a child of God:
No matter if we find ourselves having little or plenty, facing sunshine or storm, our satisfaction in the person of Jesus Christ is fully sufficient to sustain us.
Our relationship with Jesus is beyond satisfying. Jesus is life and He is life eternal for all that trust in Him for salvation. The “American Dream” at some point will come to an end but the “Everlasting Life” that is promised through Jesus never will!