Summary: Jesus is unique; you can’t find anything like him anywhere else. So make time for him.
A Unique Savior
SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Joy at 15-year-old Elizabeth Smart’s "miraculous" return to her Utah family gave way on Thursday to efforts to unravel the mystery of her nine-month ordeal, apparently at the hands of a street preacher who claimed he was a prophet who talked to angels.
Police and family members said the quiet, blond teen -- abducted at gunpoint from her bedroom in her affluent Salt Lake City home last June -- had traveled across the country, often camping out, and may have been brainwashed by her captors.
Smart was reunited with her family on Wednesday after police received a tip from two people in a store just miles from the girl’s home.
Can you imagine the agony of those nine months while their daughter was lost? Can you imagine all the horrible dreams and the visions of what might have happened? Can you imagine coming to the conclusion that she must be dead and trying to get on with your life?
I can’t either, but I am sure that it would be a monumental test for my faith!
We don’t often face these sorts of difficulties, but our faith still flounders once in a while, doesn’t it? You’re having trouble trusting in God, believing this whole business about his love when nothing’s going right. You just don’t feel like studying his Word, praying or doing the whole “servant” thing. You’ve got the blahs – not much peace, not much joy, not much motivation. You feel like you’re just going through the motions. “What’s the use?”
Many of the Jewish Christians in the early Christian church had floundering faith, too. It was difficult to believe in Jesus. Nobody liked Christians. In fact, Christians were getting beat up, even killed for their faith more and more every day. And people got away with it, too, because Christianity was not a government-approved religion.
But the old Jewish religion, Judaism, was still legal. Nobody seemed to pick on the Jews for their beliefs. Nobody beat them up or killed them. How easy it would be to reject this whole Jesus thing and go back to Judaism. Nobody would notice them. Life would go back to normal. The Jewish Christians wanted to believe in Jesus, but it was so hard.
That’s why the author of Hebrews wrote his letter. He encouraged the Jewish Christians not to give up on Jesus, because Jesus is unique, something you can’t find anywhere else.
Hebrews 1:1-13 1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
He is God’s final word
Millions of people today believe that Jesus was a great rabbi who had a few good ideas, but nothing more. He was just another prophet among thousands. God says something different in our lesson. Verse 2 again, “In these last days, God has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things.” Jesus isn’t just another prophet; he is THE prophet, God’s FINAL WORD.
Before Jesus, God gave revelations here and there – a glimpse here, a vision there. But, when Jesus came, God said all he wanted to say. Do you want to know what God has to say about sin? Look at Jesus. Do you want to know what God has to say about you? Look at Jesus.
In fact, you cannot see God without seeing Jesus. You cannot be a follower of God without Jesus. Many religions claim that we all worship the same God, but if you don’t have Jesus, you don’t have God. Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes the Father except through me.” And “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” He is unique because he is the only way to know God.
Why do I tell you this? Because we are so guilty of ignoring it! If Jesus is our only way to God of the Universe who dispenses punishment and reward, why do we listen to him so seldom? We have a lot of excuses, very few of them are good. “I’m too busy.” How can we spend an hour fiddling on the Internet, reading the gossip and the arrest reports in the newspaper, but then say we’re too busy to listen to our unique Savior? How can we spend an hour watching reality TV or playing the Game cube and then say we have too many important things to accomplish to pray? How can we rise early for every hunting trip and breakfast at Hardees but not consistently make it for worship because it’s too early? How can we read 3 John Grishom books, Reader’s digest, TV Guide and then say we don’t have time for a devotion? There’s nothing wrong with doing most of these things, but to say they keep us from our unique Savior is foolish. He is the only way to God. He is our only hope of peace with our Creator and life in heaven. How foolish to go through life without that unique voice in our lives.