“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not ‘Yes’ and ‘No,’ but in him it has always been “Yes.” For that matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:19-20
Let’s reverse the end of John’s Gospel. Imagine you are standing before the resurrected Jesus, and you were to ask Jesus—“Do you love me?”
Do you think He would say “Yes” or “No” after looking over the pattern of brokenness in your life, the hoarding of more toys than you’d ever use, the lustful late night glimpses online, the business deal that undercuts your neighbor, and the dark spot of your soul that no one knows about. Aren’t we hesitant to bring our spouse, our kids, our significant other, our friends truly down into the mess of our life because we fear they will run screaming from it? In part don’t we think Jesus would be disgusted if He only knew?
I have been studying theories of leadership over the past few months and came across this quote: “Managers can threaten people with the loss of jobs if they don’t get with the program, but threats, power, and position do not earn commitment. They earn compliance. And compliance produces adequacy—not greatness.”
Too often the church has resorted to techniques of threats, power and position to try and earn people’s compliance. As a result we have produced some pretty adequate Church attenders, and failed to make committed Christ followers.
Jesus, on the other hand, is not in the threat-making business. He is not look for compliance or adequacy, but commitment and greatness. That’s what Paul is getting, Jesus looks at our mess and doesn’t threaten us with “no” but invites us with a “yes.” His “yes” then longs for us to respond with commitment and greatness.
How would you live differently if you truly believed in your heart that Jesus has said “Yes” to you? What commitments would you make to Him? And how are those different than being compliant?
Rev. Wes Barry
Associate Pastor for Evangelism and Administration
200 West Trade St. | Charlotte | NC | 28202