I don’t believe I’ve ever met a person that hasn’t thought themselves a good person, for the most part. Most of them will say, “I’m not perfect, but I’m basically good.”
I’m old enough to be a Seinfeld aficionado and there is an episode “The Bizarro Jerry”. Jerry, Kramer and George, have exact opposites and Elaine becomes friends with them. They are actually nice and the George counter-character is not cheap but generous. They like to go the library and read, not sit in a coffee shop making fun of people.
Christianity is kind of like the Bizarro-world. Everything is upside down. “The first will be last and the last will be first”, “he who desires to save his life will lose it and he who desires to lose his life will find it”. The Son of Man came to serve and be a ransom for many; it goes on and on…
So why is it not surprising to me that when people think they are “good” they are not? They might be nice, they might be kind and they are probably “good” by the world’s standards but how do they measure up to the biblical standard?
“They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” – Romans 3:12
Matthew 19:17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
And of course this man said to Jesus, “whew…I didn’t think I could be good enough to keep the commandments, now what should I do?” Unfortunately, just like you and me, this man thought he was good enough. His sin had him deceived and the hard impenitent heart must be broken and crushed. If Jesus didn’t love him He wouldn’t have exposed his sin. He would have allowed him to stay in his deception.
When I consider whether I really love someone or not I must expose sin in their life or there’s no chance to break up the “good person” fallacy. I must be like Jesus.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
That was it…the challenge to this young man’s life was to sell everything he had. Give up everything that is important to you. Abandon your life as you know it… Stop sinning, and follow Me!
What do you place as a priority in your life over Jesus?
If it’s anything and I really do mean anything you are the rich young ruler. You MUST be willing to sell it all. The command is clear. It’s easy to read it plainly and understand what Jesus is demanding, so don’t tell me Jesus didn’t really mean I need to sell everything. Maybe He did for you? Maybe He did for me? I don’t know for sure, but I know He’s telling you and me today, that we are holding onto something that we deem more precious than Him.
This is why Christianity is even more bizarre than the Seinfeld Bizarro-world, it’s completely upside down and counter-cultural, and the world hates it. The world hates it because it loves sin, and we love our sin, until the great physician heals us.
The biggest question you can ask yourself today “Is this the Christianity that I know?” Will you willing give up your life as you know it to follow Him?
Are you “good person”, or are you in need of a Lord and a Savior?
When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” – Matthew 9:12-13
If your hope is built on anything but Christ’s righteousness, you only have your own righteousness. You are not sick and don’t need a physician. But if you realize your goodness can only be found in Him then you’ve found the right Jesus.
I must and Believers must expose the “goodness” of man for what it is, filthy rags, and call sinners to repentance. If you are to imitate Paul as he imitates Christ, then we must be like Christ in how we evangelize, if we truly love them and desire the best for them.
As we learn to love people more and more we must also realize that they crucified Jesus. His love was the perfect love, but it didn’t mean the message was always popular.
Let’s go out today and “Be Like Jesus”