This week I’m in Glorieta, NM, speaking at Collegiate Week. I have the privilege of sharing the stage with my new friends Pearl Merchant, a worship band from Lubbock, TX, and David Platt, Bible scholar and pastor of the church I went to in seminary – The Church at Brook Hills.
Great atmosphere, 1200 college students, and green chiles. It’s tough to beat. Making it better is sitting under Platt’s teaching. Take last night for example. He broke down Luke 9:51-62. The thing that most stuck out to me was what he did with verse 57:
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
David described this man as a budding teacher of the law himself, and in an attempt to gain recognition, notoriety and affirmation for his message, he wanted to attach himself to Jesus. Basically, if he could be seen as a disciple of Christ, then his message would have validity. In short, he wanted to use Jesus.
So do we.
Oh, there are the obvious ways we want to use Him, like in the prosperity gospel, claiming that if we attach ourselves to Jesus then we won’t have any more financial difficulties, health struggles, or anything negative in our lives. But then there are some of the less obvious ones.
We “use” Jesus for forgiveness. We “use” Him for heaven. We “use” him for peace. Now, I agree with DP here, there is nothing wrong with forgiveness, heaven, or peace. But those things are not the end of the gospel. Jesus is the end of the gospel. When we take Jesus, we must receive Him for His own sake. That’s what Jesus gets at in His response to the man.
“Look, buddy, you may be thinking you can use me, but I’ve got no home, no money, nothing. So if you want me, you’re just getting me.”
That’s tough for me, a guy who really likes to use Jesus for stuff. But Jesus is the beginning of the gospel. He’s also the end of the gospel. Come to think of it, He’s everything in the middle too.