"Does the Jesus of the Bible have anything to do with my life and its challenges?"
Many teens are wondering about this.
Do a search for "Jesus" on Amazon.com. You will find 263,457 related books and materials. "Google" his name, and in a millisecond you will get 174 million references. It is obvious that more than a few of the people around you are asking questions and looking for honest answers.
Has today's culture advanced past its need for this Jesus of the Bible?
Has humanity improved so much since the Dark Ages that we no longer need an external God to anchor our morals and guide our daily interaction with humanity? Have we in this generation expanded our minds to the extent that we can now determine what is truth based on our particular circumstances? As we discover the answers to these questions, I believe we will find that our generation is, at its core, very similar to every generation that has gone before us: looking for somewhere to go, looking for a reason to be and wondering if any of it really matters in the end.
Several years ago, I was the substitute teacher in a local high school Algebra class.
I took a few moments to interact with the class and share who I was. In the course of the discussion, the topic of "truth" came up. I'll never forget a student named Horace who interrupted the conversation to proclaim, "Truth is only what you believe it is!"
A little surprised, I press him for more, "So there is no absolute truth in this world?" Again, he responded, "Truth is only what you make it to be. It's different for you than it is for me."
I prodded a little deeper, "Isn't it always true that two plus two equal four?"
With arms folded his defiant response was, "Only if you believe it's true."
I'm not sure how much Horace really applied his belief system to mathematics, however, the point is well taken; for many in this generation,
"Truth is only what you believe it is."
Try challenging gravity!
The problem with this philosophy is that the reality of everyday life proves its absurdity. Not only is mathematics constant, just try challenging gravity while sitting on a tree limb. Actually, to prevent a broken ankle or worse, don't jump, instead drop a ball fifty times and see how many of those tries that it doesn't go down, compared to going up.
I'm confident that you will see that there are in fact, things that are always true.
Jesus Christ really is one of those things that are always true. Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father (God) except through me." If we can never discover Truth, then we will never discover where we should be going.
Ask the famous or influential people of our day, "What is the meaning of life, what's really important in life?" and what they tell you may be surprising.
Tom Brady, brilliant Pro Bowl quarterback for the New England Patriots has reached the pinnacle of success in sports.
His accomplishments include:
- Only quarterback in NFL history to start and win three Super Bowls before his 28th birthday
- Youngest player ever to win the NFL Most Valuable Player award
- Winner of two Super Bowl MVP awards
- Set multiple all-time NFL records- Most touchdowns in a season, Highest TD to Interception ratio, highest single game pass completion percentage, most TD passes in a single month...
- Highest paid player in NFL history
He dates supermodels and has access to everything this world values and yet in a "60 Minutes" interview, this is what he had to say of his personal fulfillment with fame and fortune:
"Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there's something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, 'Hey man, this is what is.' I reached my goal, my dream, my life. I think, 'God, it's got to be more than this.' I mean this isn't, this can't be what it's all cracked up to be ... I love playing football and I love being quarterback for this team. But at the same time, I think there are a lot of other parts about me that I'm trying to find."
Pop icon, Madonna, captured the heart of a generation hoping to find fulfillment in sensual relationships. She has recorded more number one hits than any other individual in the music industry has and enjoys a $60 million recording contract. She has sold over 100 million records worldwide but in the end, this cultural Pied Piper, realized that she did not have the answers to life's questions, confessing,
"There were many years when I thought fame, fortune, and public approval would bring me happiness. But one day you wake up and realize they don't...I still felt something was missing...I wanted to know the meaning of true and lasting happiness and how I could go about finding it."
The sad list of super stars, the rich and the famous that have ended their lives in emptiness and despair, through either drug overdose or actual suicide, goes on endlessly. Comedians like John Belushi and Chris Farley from Saturday Night Live, actors from Heath Ledger to Marilyn Monroe and a number of musicians including Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, Bon Scott and Janis Joplin have reached the top, only to realize, there is nothing there that truly fulfills and satisfies the soul.
So we have to wonder, "If so many who have achieved the highest reaches of fame and fortune and power could not find the answer to the emptiness that fills mankind, how can I?"
The relevance of Truth never fades; the belief that humanity has advanced and improved so much that we no longer need any god but ourselves, proves itself repeatedly for the empty lie that it is.
Living in personal relationship with Christ is the only thing that fulfills us.
Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man, and offers forgiveness, hope and eternal life as a gift to all who want to receive it. He IS Truth, which alone gives us purpose and meaning. Only in Him can we find meaning for US. Following his plan is THE thing that gives direction to this life. The utter disappointment with the emptiness of the things of this world can be replaced only by knowing and trusting in Jesus.
Is Jesus relevant for life today? The answer is obvious for those who are honestly searching. The Bible says that if you seek Him, you will find him. His teachings are timeless. His wisdom knows no limits. He does have the answers you are looking for. He is hope for the hopeless. There is nothing new that we are facing today that makes Christ anything but fresh, worthwhile, and powerful and "Yes", oh so relevant!
© 2012 Flynn Clanton