Jesus Is NOT A Magic Show

More than a few people have been angered by my responses to them as these poor souls have said things like, “I did nothing and He changed the direction of my life.” And my response has always been something like this, “Jesus is not like a stuffed animal or a good-luck charm, He is God.” Most do not like this, but the point is simple and I also have said, “Jesus is not a side-show in a circus, but far too many people treat Him as such.”

Also, the idea, “I did nothing and He changed the direction of my life,” is not totally true for a person thinking that the Christian life is a ‘free ride’ is a mistake. Look at the statements of Jesus:

  1. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24.
  2. “After this Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “Look, you have become well. Don’t sin anymore, lest anything worse happen to you.” 15 The man went away and informed the Jewish leaders that Jesus was the one who had made him well.” John 5:14-15.
  3. The man replied, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws since my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18:21-22.
  4.  Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32.
  5. Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 Immediately the man was healed, and he picked up his mat and started walking. (Now that day was a Sabbath.” John 5:8-9.

The one thing to notice in each of these 5 events is simple: the result of knowing Jesus is obedience to Him alone. No one is able to follow Him, not to sin, to be His disciple or to pick up the piece…alone. Please understand what Paul said to the church in Philippi, “I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. 13 I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13. Jesus provides the strength to ‘carry on’ in spite of the challenges. 

Jesus is NOT a magician, but many seem to think He is. Look around and we will find a rather large number of people expecting Jesus “to do this, that or the other” at their command because He did something in Scripture These same people think because they ‘believe’ what Jesus did in the Bible He now must, MUST do the same because they no have ‘claimed faith’ in Him to do so. 

Jesus HAS TO DO NOTHING, WHY? Because He IS God and We are to SERVE Him. The opposite of this is not true. He is not the guy in Aladdin’s Lamp who comes out of the lamp because we rub the thing. NO, NO, NO, a thousand times NO!! 

Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, He must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24.  Please underscore this, we must:

  1. Deny ourselves
  2. Take up our cross
  3. Follow Him

Self-denial is intentional on our part. We must decide that what we do is for His causes and not for our well-being.

To take up our cross is being obedient to His demands upon us and to be what He wants us to become.

To follow Him is impossible without numbers one and two. 

The context of life immediately changes when we decide to follow Him. Yes, the gift of eternal life is ‘free,’ but NOT the freedom to do as we please. The inspired words of the Bible are intended to please God alone. Have we not noticed that Israel angered God, sinned against Him and were imprisoned in Babylon for many, many years? These people wandered in the wilderness because of disobedience toward God and for more than 400 years there was silence from the Throne of God because of sin? And when the fullness of time came Jesus came to earth in order to change the heart of man and the course of human history. 

What we now see is obvious, the Church, the Body of Christ is found to be sloshing around in darkness because of sin in the camp. The Body is not in sin, but the local churches are and I think the letters to the seven churches found in the Revelation are pointed directly to the local churches today. Not simply in America, but to every local church around the world. And just as Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it!” Matthew 7:13-14. 

Often I write about this and often people scoff and ridicule, but I know the Truth when it is so obvious. Our local churches, yours included, have many who are ‘church’ members, many claim to be ‘Christians,” but are NOT. These people are sinful, evil-doers and are on the wide path because they have entered through the broad gate that leads straight to Hell. My prayer is that you are not one of these.

Jesus is Lord, JESUS IS LORD!!!

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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