Was Jesus Judgmental?

“Jesus wouldn’t judge someone, why should we?!” This is something we’ve all heard, and something we may have even said. But is it true?

In Matthew 7:1-6 when Jesus says, “Do not Judge” is he really saying we should be completely accepting of everyone? On another occasion (John 8:1-11), the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery before Jesus, and instead of condemning her he replied, “If anyone is without sin let him cast the first stone.”

Since these are the two most strongest and most popular examples, these will be the two we’ll look at below.

“Do Not Judge” (Matthew 7:1-6)
Jesus was constantly battling the Pharisees, who were known for their righteousness and strict study of God’s Word. They were also known for adding extra burdens on people, just to make sure they don’t fall into sin. They were so focused on preventing sin, it seemed that sin was always on their minds.

Instead of focusing on other people’s sin, Jesus told them to look at themselves first. “Take the plank out of your own eye.” Sometimes we point out other people’s sin because it’s so much more comfortable than paying attention to the sin in our own lives. Ironically, we even notice the very sin we are blind to in ourselves as what is most repulsive and off-putting when we see it in others. Jesus’ reminder to look in the mirror is something everyone needs to follow.

It is important, however, to notice that Jesus says, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Jesus does not say, “Only worry about yourself, accept others just as they are.” Instead, he reminds us that if we’re going to do surgery, we need to make sure we can see clearly. If we are going to help others walk faithfully with God then we should be faithful too!

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that Jesus is talking about helping a “brother.” Christian, you cannot expect nonChristians to follow God’s Word. We are to encourage and rebuke others to claim to be Christians, to direct them towards godliness. Those who are not Christians need the Gospel more than they need the Law, they need to know who God is and how to get right before a holy God before they can be expected to live rightly.

Jesus and the Adulterous Woman (John 8:1-11)
As Jesus was teaching in the temple, the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in the act of adultery. Leviticus 20:10 says that both the woman and the man should be stoned to death. Curiously, the man is absent from court before Jesus, further showing that the Pharisees aren’t truly interested in justice but only in trapping Jesus between Scripture and popularity. Will Jesus choose to condemn the woman who is obviously guilty of adultery, or will let her free and show that he values the people’s opinion over what the Bible says?

Instead, Jesus turns the tables. He tells them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw the stone at her.” Everyone slowly walks away… except for Jesus. The sinless judge remains. But instead of throwing a stone, he acknowledges her sin while showing grace. “Go, and sin no more.” That simple statement is Jesus telling her, “Yes, you sinned. You are guilty. But I will show you grace. Go, and let that grace change you so that you aren’t found guilty again.”

Jesus is THE Judge
Jesus wasn’t only judgmental, he is THE Judge (John 5:22John 9:39, Acts 10:42, Romans 2:16, Revelation 19:11-21). Jesus will be the one who separates the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), the wheat from the tares (Matthew 13:24-20, 36-43), the good fish and the bad fish (Matthew 13:47-50). Not only would Jesus judge someone… one day he will judge everyone. Judgement is real, and God’s judgment is eternal. It is not pleasant to talk about. If you truly believe in any kind of judgment before God, warning others would be the kind and merciful thing to do. We are not the judge, but shouldn’t we warn others if we are persuaded they would be found guilty?

Bring us to the Cross
Unfortunately, Christians today are known by the way they have judged others and shown themselves to still be sinners in need of grace. Yes, we have judged others in ways we should not. But some of that “judging” is right. For we are called to call sin “sin” and bad “bad.” When we accept with is sinful and say that it is fine and good, then we have lost our saltiness and we our light has been snuffed out (Matthew 5:13-16).

Jesus frequently issued warnings about judgment and the wrath of God, and he called people to repentance so that they would stop sinning and start doing what is right. He did so with love and mercy, because he never wrote anyone off as “too far gone.” As we follow Jesus’ example, let’s be sure to remember the two examples above.

In the midst of trying to discern how to show love and grace and humility while acknowledging the reality of sin in our own lives and in the lives of others, may we continually point people to the love of God poured out for us on the cross. For it is on the cross where the wrath of God was poured out against all sin, even while the love of God was fully displayed, because he took that wrath upon himself so that we could “go, and sin no more.”

Worth Your Time 3/20/15

Each Friday I try to provide a few articles that are worth the time of parents and youth workers. These articles span a number of issues, and not all are written by Christians, but they are all “worth your time.” Here’s the latest edition:

Things I Would Do Differently if I Were Raising My Children Again, by Mark Altrogge (The Blazing Center)
“My children are adults now and several have children of their own. We had lots of fun as a family, and I have lots of great memories of raising our kids. But in retrospect, I think I would have done a number of things differently. So I share them in hopes that younger parents might benefit and not make some of the mistakes I did. Some things I would do differently…”

How to Read Your Bible for Yourself, by John Piper (Desiring God)
Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.”

Why Our Children Don’t Think There are Moral Facts, by Justin McBrayer (New York Times)
“…if students are already showing up to college with this view of morality, it’s very unlikely that it’s the result of what professional philosophers are teaching. So where is the view coming from?

A few weeks ago, I learned that students are exposed to this sort of thinking well before crossing the threshold of higher education. When I went to visit my son’s second grade open house, I found a troubling pair of signs hanging over the bulletin board.”

What Not to Ask Someone Suffering, by Nancy Guthrie (Desiring God)
“People ask me all the time what to say and what to do for people who are grieving the death of someone they love. And I’m glad they ask. I’m glad they want to know what is really helpful and meaningful, and what is completely unhelpful and actually hurtful. And I wish I could tell you that I always know myself what to say. But sometimes words fail me. And I wish I could tell you that I never say the wrong thing. But I do. In fact, a few days ago, I made the mistake I often tell other people not to make.”

It’s the Little Things, by Nicholas Batzig (Ligonier)
“God loves to bless the little things His people do. Sometimes they are small acts, and sometimes they only appear to be so. Jesus cares deeply about the little things that His people do to bless others in His church. He takes note of them as precious acts of service. He uses the little things that His people do to carry on His work in the world through His church. May God give all of us grace to cultivate faithfulness in the little things that we do.”

3 Wrong Things That Some Christians Think About Heaven, by Justin Taylor (The Gospel Coalition)
“Davis shows that the following ideas, even though they are common, are unbiblical:

  1. Heaven is only future.
  2. Heaven is only spiritual.
  3. Heaven is inaccessible.”

Jesus as Miracle Worker

Series Intro: “Who is Jesus? Describe him to me”
How do you even begin to answer this question? There are so many ways to describe Jesus. For the next few weeks we’ll be looking at the “Many faces of Jesus.” Last youth group we looked at Jesus as Friend, and remembered that if we ever doubt if Jesus is trustworthy we only need to look at the cross. This week we’re exploring Jesus as Miracle Worker, and in the next few weeks we’ll see him as Servant, and Shepherd.

Many Faces of Jesus

Do You Have Authority?
Moving is really stressful. When my family moved earlier this year we had to make a bunch of phone calls so we’d have electricity and gas and phones. When I called to have our electricity turned on, they wouldn’t let me do it because our account was under Tracy’s name but not mine, so I had no authority to make changes to our account.

Honestly, I argued with them more than they probably deserved, they kept telling me I’d have to wait for Tracy to get off work so she could call and have the power turned on.

It was frustrating to have no authority. But at the same time, I’m glad that only the person whose name is on the account is the one who can make changes. Think about it, what would happen if I called National Grid and asked them to turn off the power at your house tonight. Would you like that? Obviously not. But I can’t do that, because I don’t have the authority to make changes to your account.

We all want authority, don’t we? We want to be able to call the shots and have people listen to us. But it’s good and right life doesn’t work like that.

Which Power is More Impressive: A Miracle, or Forgiveness of Sin?
Would you rather have the power to perform miracles or to forgive sin? What miracles would you do? How would you use that power? How would you choose when to do a miracle and when not to?

As impressive as miracles are, the authority to forgive someone’s sin is even greater. A miracle is an instant, forgiveness lasts for an eternity. Imagine having that authority, to look at someone and to be able to decide if they should be forgive of their sin or not. “Nope, sorry, I don’t like you. You’re still guilty!”

Jesus had authority and power to perform miracles AND to forgive sin, and tonight I want to share one story from the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus’ authority is questioned.

Matthew 9:1-8
“Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.”

The reason for the miracles: To prove his authority!
Which is easier… to say “your sins are forgiven” or to say “get up and walk.”

It’s easier to say something that people can’t “prove” is false than to say something that can be immediately seen as true or false.

Any crazy guy can say “I forgive your sins!” Not anyone can make someone who was born paralyzed and make him immediately able to get up and walk.

Jesus explains, “So that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man did!

Jesus wasn’t all about the show. He had huge crowds following him, begging for constant miracles. The reason Jesus came was for the forgiveness of sins, to reconcile sinful humanity to the Holy God.

When we pursue God because we want to see his power, we lose sight of something far more important. It’s obviously important that we worship a powerful God whose authority is real and endless… but it’s even more important that we pursue reconciliation with him so that his power is FOR us, not AGAINST us!

IMG_4356Why don’t I experience God’s power?

  1. You’re not living for God, you’re living in sin.

If you’re living with unconfessed and unrepented sin in your life, then you can’t expect to experience much of God’s power.

Can I make a confession: I lied to National Grid. I called them back half an hour later and told them I’m Tracy. Since she’s my wife I could answer all of her security questions as if they were about me. Thankfully, their files don’t say whether or not “Tracy” is a boy name or a girl name.

God alone has authority, and he won’t be manipulated or tricked into doing what you want him to do. Confess your sin, and repent. Repenting from your sin means “to turn away.” It means you’ve confessed it (“God, I admit I’m guilty of _______.”) and that you’ve prayerfully committed to stop sinning and start doing what God wants instead, (“God, give me strength to stop ______ and start doing _______ instead, to the glory of your name.”).

  1. You’re living too safely.

When we take no risks, there’s no need for God to show you how strong he is. You simply don’t need God or faith if you live in a way that you can comfortably live without Him.

If you want to see God’s power, take some risks.

Don’t be foolish and put yourself into situations where you’re “daring” God to rescue you.

Take a risk by standing up for someone who’s being bullied, by speaking up when Christ is being dragged through the mud, and when people who claim to be Christians are making decisions which are firmly and clearly not what God would want.

  1. You rely on your own strength, not his.

Jesus said that he came for the sick, not the healthy. If you think you’re just fine without God, then you can’t expect to know God’s strength. You don’t need it anyway.

I think this is one of the reasons we experience suffering and trials, to remind us of our need for Him. If I never discipline my kids, how are they supposed to know the difference between good behavior and bad behavior? If I never let my kids fail at anything, how are they going to learn how to ask for help?

Ask the Lord to show you your need for him, and start trusting in HIS strength instead of your own.

Trust in God’s Power, Not Your Own
Will you trust in yourself, or will you trust in Him?

If you claim to trust in him, but you never take any godly risks, then you can say you trust him all you want… but you don’t.

If you want to trust him, but you think living for sin is better, then you’re going to live a two-faced, double-hearted life… always wanting one thing and doing another. And that’s a pretty guilty way to live. Eventually, what will happen, is you’ll either repent of your sin or you’ll give up on God so you don’t feel guilty anymore.

I want you to know and experience the power of God.

His miracles aren’t just fireworks to draw a crowd. They are powerful reminders that he has complete authority over both heaven and earth.

The question is… will you confess your sin, your need… and will you trust Jesus Christ to change you and make you new?

If you want to know more about how to be made new and how to be forgiven of your sins, your small group leader or me would LOVE to talk with you.

Worth Your Time 3/13/15

Each Friday I try to provide a few articles that are worth the time of parents and youth workers. These articles span a number of issues, and not all are written by Christians, but they are all “worth your time.” Here’s the latest edition:

Don’t Follow Your Heart, by Jon Bloom (Desiring God)
“The truth is, no one lies to us more than our own hearts. No one. If our hearts are compasses, they are Jack Sparrow compasses. They don’t tell us the truth, they just tell us what we want. If our hearts are guides, they are Gothels. They are not benevolent, they are pathologically selfish. In fact, if we do what our hearts tell us to do we will pervert and impoverish every desire, every beauty, every person, every wonder, and every joy. Our hearts want to consume these things for our own self-glory and self-indulgence.”

Parenting Well in a Digital World, by Tim Challies (Challies.com)
“We tend to think that no one has ever endured what we are enduring today. The truth is, this is a recurring pattern. Time and time again the world has witnessed technological explosions that have changed everything. Today we are at a new frontier, and we—you and I—have to do the difficult work of learning to use these things well. Instead of choosing fear, we need to choose familiarity. Instead of fearing new technologies, let’s investigate them and look for ways we can use them to advance God’s cause. Let’s investigate the benefits and the risks, and learn how to use these things to carry out God’s calling. And then let’s put them to work in doing good for others and bringing glory to God.”

The Cost of Relativism, by David Brooks (New York Times)
“….We now have multiple generations of people caught in recurring feedback loops of economic stress and family breakdown, often leading to something approaching an anarchy of the intimate life.

“But it’s increasingly clear that sympathy is not enough. It’s not only money and better policy that are missing in these circles; it’s norms. The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.”

Is Your Gospel Too Small?, by Amy L. Sherman (The Gospel Coalition)
“With a theology that’s all about getting a ticket to heaven for when I die, it’s not surprising that many Christians don’t show much interest in the question of how to live life now, inthis world. When our churches teach a salvation that is only from (from sin and death), it’s not hard to understand why so many believers don’t seem to know what salvation is for. And if we preach a gospel that is only, or mainly, about “saving souls,” we shouldn’t be shocked if we end up with congregations that are not very motivated to care for bodies and material needs.”

Canadian Parents Forced to Talk About Sex, by Jonathan McKee (JonathanMcKeeWrites.com
“Last week I flew to Toronto for a timely interview about my new book More Than Just the Talk on the Canadian TV show 100 Huntley Street (airing late March). This new book asserts, ‘parents need to create a comfortable climate of continual conversations about sex’ … a sore subject for Canadian parents right now, who feel their hand is being forced by this new curriculum.

“The interview was intriguing. I can’t say I disagreed with their frustration with ‘Big Brother’ stepping in and saying, ‘We’re going to teach your kids about sex because you don’t!’

“But it really raises the question: How come so many parents ‘don’t’?”

6 Reasons Why Sexual Predators Target Churches, by Tim Challies (Challies.com)
“It is terrible but true—sexual predators target churches. In the mind of a predator, a church offers a compelling target and, too often, an easy target. I recently worked my way through On Guard by Deepak Reju and learned that there are at least 6 reasons why sexual predators specifically target churches.”

Worth Your Time 3/6/15

Each Friday I try to provide a few articles that are worth the time of parents and youth workers. These articles span a number of issues, and not all are written by Christians, but they are all “worth your time.” Here’s the latest edition:

Battling Pornography… by Walt Mueller (CPYU)
“Over the course of the last couple of weeks I’ve had several people ask me this question: ‘What do think is the biggest challenge facing children and teens today?’ That’s a tough question to answer. Without a doubt, today’s ‘biggest challenge’ is nothing new. It’s a challenge shared by every human being who has drawn breath in our post-Genesis 3:6 world. It’s our brokenness and sin. Still, the question asks about how our sin is nuanced in our culture, our times, and our lives. My answer, with little hesitation, has to be ‘pornography.'”

Abusing Grace: Finding the Line Between “Guilt Trip” and “It’s All Good” by Tim Downey (Leadertreks)
“Those who abuse grace respond quickly: ‘I don’t have to live under a legalistic set of rules any longer. I’m free in Christ.’ But are they living in true freedom? Christians do not earn grace through actions, but Christ purchased for us freedomfrom sin, not freedom to sin. We must ask ourselves one simple question: Has the ‘freedom’ we have embraced brought us liberty or bondage (Gal. 5:13)?”

Francis Chan: Church Wastes Too Much Time Waiting on God’s Voice, Christians Getting Too Fat on the Word by Stephanie Samuel (Christian Post)
“Chan explained that continually listening to the Word without applying it has made Christians’ ears dull to God’s call. “That’s the first thing I was taught in seminary before we even started classes: the president of the seminary said, ‘look be careful because once you can hear the word of God and do nothing in response then the next time you hear it, it’ll get easier, and the next time and pretty soon it becomes a habit and a pattern of you’re able to hear the Word of God without a practical response,’ said Chan.”

Why an Actual Infinity Cannot Exist and Therefore We Know That The Universe Had a Beginning by Justin Taylor (Gospel Coalition)
“Philosopher William Lane Craig has done more than any other contemporary to popularize and develop the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which is simple to formulate and difficult to refute. The premises of the argument are as follows:

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe begins to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.”

Parenting Means Wrestling Demons by Jonathan Parnell (Desiring God)
“There is a war on children, and we are all, in one way or another, playing some role in it. Every time we move forward as faithful parents (or care for kids in any capacity, including advocating for the voiceless not yet born, and volunteering for nursery duty on Sundays), we are wrestling demons — because there is little the demons hate more than little children.”

Suicide is Never the Answer

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard a few stories that have really shaken me about people who have found themselves in hopeless situations. Some of them escaped because they had friends who risked the friendship by making others aware of what was happening. Others refused help and are now gone.

I’ve had this written in my head for a long time, but it’s gone unwritten until now. It seems like suicide is something that is getting more and more attention even while it’s being more widely accepted as an escape. Remember this image going around after Robin Williams’ suicide:

At the time there were a few voices who spoke out reminding us that suicide is not freedom, but so many people seemed to embrace this thinking that it was really concerning.

Suicide isn’t the answer
I have a problem with the picture above because suicide is never the answer. Suicide doesn’t bring “freedom.” If you need hope, suicide isn’t the solution you’re looking for. If you need healing, suicide only spreads pain and hurt and loss.

It’s Complicated
I don’t know what you’re feeling. I don’t personally know what it’s like to suffer from mental illness or from severe depression, so I’m not going to offer cheap and easy solutions that reduce what you’re feeling and experiencing to an easy “to do” list which will make you “better.” You might suffer from depression for your entire life – but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience joy and happiness and hope.

You’re Worth More than Suicide
God did not make you for death. He made you for life. You are not an accident. No one is “too far gone.” God doesn’t make junk. We are all broken because of sin, and some of us have really made a mess of things, but you are worth more than suicide! Don’t lose hope… fight for it! And while you fight for hope, invite a family member or a friend (or more than one!) to help you in that fight, because it might be along and difficult journey and you might not get there alone.

Care Enough to Risk the Friendship
If you have a friend who has talked about suicide or self-harm… care for them enough to speak up on their behalf. Sometimes we need to be good enough friends to risk our friendships because we want better for our friends than they seem to want for themselves (does that make sense?). Sometimes we need to speak up for our friends and loved ones when no one else will. If you stay silent, this doesn’t mean you should blame yourself for what your friend did (or attempted to do). But what an expression of friendship and love to say, “I care about you more than I care about you being happy with me! I don’t want to lose you so I needed to take this risk by telling someone that I’m scared for you.”

Christians Get Suicidal and Depressed Too
There seems to be a popular myth in the church that Christians should be able to pray depression away. Prayer works, and God hears your prayers, so I would never say or want to give the impression that prayer is useless or a waste of time. Prayer works. But so does medicine and so does counseling. Sometimes we need to humble ourselves and ask for help from others, trusting God to answer our prayers through the help that other people can give us.

I wrote a post about Teen Depression a few years back that I still think is quite helpful.

Here are a few other good resources to check out:

A Final Word on HOPE
If you could talk to someone who is about to commit suicide, what would you say? What hope would you offer?

The truth is life is difficult and messy. But there is joy in the Christian life. There is faith in the midst of doubt, but you may still have some lingering doubts. There is hope in the midst of depression, but you may still experience depression.There is love in the midst of sorrow, but that means you will still experience sorrow. Doubt and depression and sorrow will one day pass away, but faith, hope, and love remain.

The power for faith, hope, and love come from God. And thanks to God for that… because that means even in your darkest and weakest moment, God’s power can reach out and hold on to you.

Whatever you’re feeling or experiencing, reach out for help – help from God and help from a friend or family member. Please remember that suicide is never the answer.

Jesus as Friend

“The Many Faces of Jesus”
How do you even begin to answer this question? There are so many ways to describe Jesus. Have you seen “The Dress” this week? Is it white and gold or black and blue? We’re looking at the same thing, but we’re describing two different dresses. Sometimes I hear people talk about Jesus in a way that makes me think, “They must be talking about a different Jesus!” For the next few weeks we’ll be looking at the “Many faces of Jesus,” to encounter Jesus as Friend, Miracle Worker, Servant, and Shepherd. These four “faces” give us a good picture who Jesus is, why he came, and why we talk about him so often.

Many Faces of Jesus

When I was on the football team in high school one the leaders on the team took up a collection for some new carpets in the locker room. I gave him $5 and never heard of the carpets again. Later on I found out he used the money he collected to buy beer for the big weekend party. Trusting someone who’s not trustworthy makes you feel pretty foolish.

Who hasn’t been there before? Some of us trust people way too easily and we find ourselves being taken advantage of. But other people seem to never trust others and are so skeptical they refuse to trust people who are actually trustworthy.

“Can we trust God?”
This might sound like a weird question to ask, but it’s absolutely honest and worth asking. How do we know he’s trustworthy? How do we know if he even likes us?

John 3:17 says, “God sent his Son into the world to judge the world but to save the world through him.” Jesus is not God’s warrior sent to slaughter sinners for their rebellion. Instead, He is God-in-flesh, the Son of God who came to RESTORE our relationship with God. Our sin made us enemies of God. Through Jesus, our sins are forgiven and we are made FRIENDS of God. 

John 15:13-14 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” This is how Jesus loved us. Sometimes we talk about the Christianity in a way that makes forgiveness sound free. But it wasn’t free. It was actually really expensive… it cost Jesus his life. 

For those of us who consider ourselves Christians, Jesus tells us that we’re supposed to do what he did: honor God and love others. He’s obviously not saying that you need to die for your friends and you’re not able to forgive them of their sins, but do you love them enough to put them first? Do you love them enough to sacrifice for them? Do you love Jesus enough to love others the way he has loved you?

Look to the CrossIf you aren’t a Christian, I want to kindly tell you that you’re missing out. You’re missing out on the amazing love of God who loves you so much he became a man who suffered and died in order to rescue you from sin and death and judgment. I want to make sure you hear from Jesus the reason he came: to lay down his life for his friends.

If you aren’t a Christian, I want you to know that you can trust Jesus. If you ever doubt that, you only need to look at the cross to see how much he loves you. Jesus not only tells us, but he shows us what godly friends do – they lay their lives down for each other. Jesus is so much more than just a friend, but that’s not a bad starting point to describe who he is!

What would it look like if we all lived as friends of Jesus?
What would your family look like? What would your school look like? What would our youth group look like?

  • I think we’d spend more time with people who are outcasts and left out of groups, and less time so focused on our friend-groups that we end up leaving people on the outside.
  • I think we’d spend more time praying for people and less time talking about them.
  • I think we’d be less materialistic and far more sacrificial.
  • We’d be more willing to risk doing or saying the right thing, even if it would mean some sort of backlash might come our way.
  • And when others hurt us, we’d be quicker to forgive them, because we know that Jesus forgave us.
  • All in all, We’d be way less worried about ourselves and more active about putting others first.

There are times when it’s really hard to trust God. It’s hard to trust him when you’re being picked on and bullied at school. It’s hard to trust him when you feel so overwhelmed by everyone else’s expectations, and you’re stressed out because you don’t want to let people down. It’s hard to trust him when life is really tough and your prayers don’t seem to be answered.

When we consider the many faces of Jesus, I think it’s helpful to remember that Jesus came in order to rescue us from our sin so that we could be friends of God. And whenever we question if we can trust God, let us look to the cross to remember the fullness of his love.