Elemental: S2 - Day 5

“[Jesus] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

Every once in a while, I field concerned questions about how much focus a faith community places on Jesus. It usually sounds something like, “They only preach Jesus there, right?” The implication is that too much emphasis on Jesus avoids the meatier subjects. It’s as if we understand that the immature probably need to hear about Jesus. But sooner or later, you should grow up, move from the minor to the major leagues and get into more profound material. The suggestion is that too much sharing about Jesus avoids the more complex and challenging topics. I once heard someone complain, “Love, love, love; Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; that’s all they talk about.”

I submit that, in Jesus, we have avoided nothing. He is the lens through which we clarify any portion of the Bible. And while he is the foundation of our rebuild, He is also the thread that runs throughout, like a nervous system or bloodstream, connecting and powering everything. If you can find something in scripture that doesn’t have to do with Jesus, it's not worthy of consideration.

I’m not alone in this strong sentiment. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” Don’t worry, Paul realizes the same thing John the Apostle shares in the first chapter of his Gospel—that the Jesus of the New Testament is the God and Creator in the Old. They will both tell us, “…all things were created by Him…” (John 1:1; Colossians 1:16)

So, whether you wonder about the identity of the YAHWEH, God of the Old Testament (John 8:58), the focus of the book of Revelation (1:1), or anything in between, It’s all Jesus. The author of Revelation writes down Jesus’ own words, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13)

Any faith worth having shares a common thread wound through its very fabric—the presence of Jesus. He is the foundation, and He is more. He is the elemental breakdown, the reduction sauce of all of scripture. So at every turn, we will want to ask, “What does this tell us about or have to do with Jesus?”

  1. Can you think of a time following a set of instructions when you missed a key ingredient? 
  2. What is an example of a pivotally important idea that gets ignored?
  3. Does it feel theologically safe to insist on only thinking and talking about Jesus? Why or why not?

Pastor Dave Ferguson

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Matt - August 3rd, 2023 at 8:18am

"He is the lens through which we clarify any portion of the Bible" - 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻