In Acts 18, both Paul and Apollos are said to be working to convince Jewish congregations that “Jesus was the Christ.” Now, I’ve had enough Sunday School lessons and Life of Christ lectures in Bible college to know that “the Christ” is a pretty significant title, and it’s the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term Messiah. And so, as I grew up reading this verse in the NIV (as many of my generation of church goers have), I always pictured these two guys reasoning and explaining to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah they’d been waiting for.
This morning, as I was reading in the New Living Translation, the phrase jumped out at me both times I came across it in a fresh way: “The Messiah you are looking for is Jesus.” For whatever reason, having it phrased this way made my mind jump a couple thousand years. People are still looking for a Messiah and they have lots of choices fighting for their attention. Most are not looking for the Jewish Messiah described in the Old Testament (even many Jews have given up that wait) – but they are looking for someone or something to deliver them from a life void of meaning and substance. People are trying just about everything possible to escape the aging and death that each of us experiences. We all want our lives to mean something.
But your job will not be a source of significance for you beyond a few decades.
The excessive drinking and drugs that offer an escape only last for a moment.
The accolades and achievements we so diligently pursue will not satisfy forever.
Even the humanitarian service we give to others, as good and right as it is, does little to permanently convince the soul that it is good and right.
None of these offer the true rescue we’re seeking. Because “the Messiah you are looking for is Jesus.“
The young generation today is looking for meaning in so many other things. They are looking to be saved by sex and good grades and football letters… drama and debate and Halo… drinking and cars and hip-hop… but they’re recognizing the emptiness of these pursuits. And so, they keep looking – they keep trying the next thing. The Messiah they are looking for is Jesus. It really is as simple as that.
Help them see Him.