Hope Is . . . in MY Jesus.
Believe it or not – the word “my” above is not a positive one of personalization and appreciation. When I say that my Hope is in MY Jesus, I’m referring to the Jesus I want him to be for me. The one that I craft in my head; the one that looks more like a genie in a Bible than the Creator of the Universe.
We all have a tendency to write a new gospel in our hearts called “the gospel of Steve, or the gospel of Sarah”. This is OUR ACCOUNT of who and what we think of Jesus, His mission on earth, and what we feel & think He should be doing for us in our lives. At the end of the day – OUR HOPE IS IN (MY VERSION OF) JESUS.
As I prepared to speak about the way HOPE is defined last Sunday, I realized that we too often place our Hope in the wrong things. I also recognized that many of us SAY we place our Hope in Jesus, but it’s OUR VERSION of Jesus that we have our HOPE in.
Judas kinda gets a bum wrap because of how his story ended, but he was a CHOSEN disciple. Jesus chose him to be with him for 3 years. To walk with him, to pray with him, to minister with him.
Judas healed people, cast out demons, and shared the good news of JESUS with everyone (Mark 6:7-13). If you were to ask Judas, He would have said “My Hope is in JESUS!” What we see in hindsight and from history is that Judas’ hope was in the Jesus HE wanted to come.
He wanted a supernatural King (like King David) with power to overthrow the Roman government and set up the Jewish people to reign forever! His Hope was in HIS Jesus.
Sometimes, even as professing Christians, our hope is misplaced because it is colored by “our” version of who we want Jesus to be. When things are going as we expect them to… PRAISE JESUS! But when trouble comes, we struggle, question our faith, and experience hopelessness, yet don’t understand why.
Trouble is coming. Jesus told us it would be. Then why do so many professing Christians walk away from the faith or get stuck in lukewarm faith because life didn’t turn out as they expected?
If our lives are defined by what or who we place our hope in, then we should consider that maybe we can’t place our hope in things like money, careers, education, or power. Maybe we are hiding the deeper issue that our hope is still in MY Jesus.
There is a sobering statement that Jesus makes that shines a light on this critical issue. Jesus tells his disciples that there will be a day when many will say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons and perform miracles?’ Then I will them them plainly, ‘I never knew you”. (Matthew 7:22-23, Luke 13:27) It is possible for people to say “Jesus,” but in their hearts NEVER truly place their hope in the King of kings and Lord of lords.
In order to completely place our Hope in Jesus and live like Hope is here (in us), we must fully surrender to THE JESUS who came as a baby, rather than our own personal “Jesus.” The Jesus who didn’t come as people expected Him to, but revealed Himself as the HOPE of the WORLD.
The Jesus who didn’t solve every temporary issue that His people struggled with, but rather brought about a real solution for our real problem (read: SIN) that owned us. Giving us FREEDOM by His death, burial, and resurrection.
The Jesus who didn’t rule like they expected, but rather said to His people “I must go, but I’m sending ONE to you that is even greater” and will sustain the HOPE that I AM in you FOREVER!