Bumper stickers, ugh!
Bumper stickers, ugh! Unless they’re funny, I don’t much like them. If they attempt to convey some spiritual message, I’d rather they not attempt. Have you seen the one that says “Try Jesus?” Sure, buddy, just give ol’ Jesus a trial run like you would a VW Passat. Try Pepsi! Try Nexium! Try Amazon Prime! Just give Jesus a shot and if he doesn’t work out according to your satisfaction, then eh, at least you “tried.” Right? Can you imagine a Jesus who “tried” to lead a perfect life? A Jesus who committed to endure the verbal, emotional and physical abuse of his trial but opted out of the cross? Imagine the garden prayer “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. If not, then I’d like an alternative.” Following Jesus demands sacrifice. Jesus preaches an “all in” gospel, not a 30 day free trial. In Luke 14:33 Jesus says “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” In Matthew 10:39 he says “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” To a wealthy young man who thought following Jesus might be the route Jesus says “You lack one thing, sell all that you have and give to the poor.” (Mark 10:21) As this prospective follower retreated, Jesus said to his disciples “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God.”(v.23) What you read next may make you twinge a little but it will do you good to consider. We Americans choose our words carefully. We have migrated in word and practice from the concept of “surrender” to God to “committing” to God. This subtle change moves our relationship with Christ into something we do; therefore we are able to keep control. We can bail (and we will) if we just choose to give Jesus a “try.” Surrender means giving up all rights to oneself. The great irony of surrender is that it leads not to defeat but to victory. Think About It.