By: Rin Jandernoa
I need Jesus. I know from the depths of my soul that I need Jesus. He is my joy. He frees me from the slavery of being controlled by my circumstances. He invites me to choose the joy of his suffering, death, and resurrection with purpose every day. He is the reason that anything I do matters. He arms me with a hope that sustains when nothing around me gives me a reason to believe that there is something real and worth living for. Before Jesus, there was no way to spend eternity with God, who is without a doubt worth spending eternity with. I know this. I have learned this. I have met him and I believe in him from the calluses on my feet to the shiver that escapes through my head when I am moved by a song.
But what about the people who don’t “need” Jesus? The ones who seem completely fine without him? The ones who move through life with every need met, every problem solved, smiles on their faces, and generous, loving hearts? Those who genuinely enjoy living, purposefully care for others, live with intentionality, and whose lives are generally not falling apart? It’s tempting to accept our differences at face value and live as if every kind of life purpose gifts the same lasting result. But the people who “seem” to not need him don’t need him any less or more than those who “seem” to need to him. In the end, it’s not about how well we are able to walk through this life with good intentions or with a positive outlook. It doesn’t stop there, and that’s not the point of Jesus. The point of Jesus isn’t to give us a bounce in our step, or to only transform the lives of people who have clearly reached the bottom and have nowhere else to turn.
The point of Jesus is life after death. This is a truth that does not alter from person to person, or from circumstance to circumstance. This is a reality that every person is affected by, whether they realize it or not. This is the most real truth that exists. Although it isn’t tangible in the same way that a steaming latte is, it is actually more real than the latte could ever try to be. A latte provides me with a sweet sensation that lasts for about 35 glorious minutes. But no latte is the cause of my life, and no latte could ever provide the same deep-seeded joy that comes from the opportunity to live with the very essence of life forever. And this opportunity to live forever doesn’t just stop at an opportunity; it is a certainty that we will continue to exist after our bodies are gone. Whether the person next to me realizes it or not, the reality of their eternal existence is just as true as mine. And this is the joy of the Gospel. This is the truth of a God who doesn’t drop us off on some random earth and observe from a distance as he sits in his chair, entertained by the little ants that he watches running around in a daily frenzy.
While I go through the natural ebb and flow of being more or less aware of my need for Jesus (depending on what captures my focus on a given day), how much I actually need him never changes or alters in the slightest amount. It doesn’t change at all for you, no matter what currently occupies your mind, nor does it ring more or less true for your good friend who knows Jesus well or doesn’t know him at all.
I need Jesus. Not because I am an emotional wreck without him. Not because I feel lost without him. Not because I’m more patient with him, or my anxieties leave me because he is my best friend. Not because he gives me the ability to be joyful. I just need him. He is the joy. He is the hope. He is the source. He is the way to participate in the Father’s eternal gift of life. Everyone needs Jesus.
Song Suggestion: Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons