We live in a time of much fear, uncertainty and difficulty - we are suffering from a loss of control. Yet some claim that Jesus is the answer to our deepest fears and insecurities. But is this answer just too convenient and easy? We confront some big questions of the potential relevance of Jesus in our lives today. This show connects with the themes and ideas raised with the recent Edge event: Fear of the Future.
Our guest: Dr. Sam Chan is a cultural analyst, author, medical doctor and preacher. He works as national communicator with City Bible Forum and he’s a popular guest on Bigger Question.
Check out the video from our Monday night Facebook Premiere (you can still access the video after the Premiere).
If you wanted to investigate the figure of Jesus a little more, then why not invest some time in reading through the first 18 sentences of the Gospel of John. Check out Word 1-2-1. These videos explain a bit more about Word 1-2-1. Also, if you wanted to understand the Bible’s message a bit better. Why not check out Bible Shots? A quick shot every Wednesday lunchtime at 1pm.
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Bigger Questions asked in the conversation
Now, we’re living in strange and troubled times at the moment with the Coronavirus pandemic. How have you been coping in the Coronavirus world?
Uncertainty: Fear of future
It seems like life is very uncertain at the moment. Planning for the future has been very hard. What’s been the hardest thing you’ve struggled to plan for at the moment?
We are clearly living in uncertain times. Now at a recent talk you gave for City Bible Forum, you spoke about uncertainty, and the fear of the future. So do you think that we do fear the future?
So what particularly drives our fears?
But why Jesus?
Now in that talk you suggested that Jesus can help with our fears - and particularly the fear of the future? How exactly does he do that?
But doesn't this sound a bit too convenient and too easy - problems and difficulties in the world - answer - Jesus. Don’t you just say this because you’re a theologian?
Don’t plenty of people find answers without Jesus?
But what if it’s just not for them? You know, for many people the whole religion, Jesus, philosophy thing, it just doesn’t fit into their lives. You might claim that Jesus is the answer - but it’s the answer to a question that they’re not even asking or thinking about?
So if Jesus is such good news, the answer to many of life’s biggest questions, why do so few people follow him?
The Bible’s answer - Jesus the answer
In the Gospel of John, one of the four biographies of Jesus’ life we have, in Chapter 6 Jesus speaks with a group of people who were following him. There were some rumblings of discontent for some time and these grumblings reach their climax in a tense exchange Jesus has with these followers. Jesus then asks if what he says offends them and some are offended at his words and then in verse 66 of Chapter 6, the Gospel of John says,
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
So this is interesting - there were people even in Jesus’ day who didn’t think he had all the answers to life. They didn’t want to follow him. Does this surprise you?
Then in John chapter 6 the narrative continues, where Jesus asked the Twelve in verse 67,
“You do not want to leave too, do you?”
68 Simon Peter [one of Jesus’ disciples] answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
What do you make of Jesus’ response? How was Jesus the answer for Simon Peter?
But isn’t this the problem with Jesus, religion and Christianity - that if offers eternal life - something that is nice when you die, but has no bearing on today, if I’ve lost my job, have relationship troubles and want to go travelling - isn’t eternal life just a bit irrelevant?
The answer - Sam’s story
So how has Jesus been the answer for you?
The Big Question
So Sam, how can Jesus really be the answer?