For every person that doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ, for every person that doesn’t want to become a Christians there is a different argument against it… some of these arguments are stronger than others, but of course none of them really holds water. In doing research for my lastest sermon series, “Job: A Call to Suffering” I explored one of the more common ones I have heard, especially from independent, self-reliant Americans goes something like this: “I don’t need a crutch to get through life and that’s all Jesus – or any religion for that matter really is…”
I can understand that sentiment. Back in 2000, I had to have knee surgery and it forced me to use crutches for a while, and I really didn’t want to use them. They hurt my arms and were kind of bulky, and they forced me to live and move in a very determined way. I didn’t want to use them. But I needed to use them. Crutches are given to us when we are broken. Crutches are given to us to help us walk, when we can’t walk on our own. Nobody wants to use crutches until they have a need for them… then they are the most valuable things we have.
When someone says, “I don’t need Jesus because I don’t need a crutch,” they are missing a fundamental fact of their existence: they are broken. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned fallen short of the glory of God…” Every single person on the face of the planet falls in that boat, and as a result death reigns in the world and the planet itself groans because of the state of brokenness. And Jesus is the only one that can really and truly lift us out of our state of brokenness. Just like a crutch, Jesus can help us walk – because we inherently cannot do it on our.
Since we are all broken and really do need a crutch, it’s more a matter of not wanting them.
As I said before, crutches make us conform to them. There are certain things we can and cannot do with crutches… certain places we cannot go. And that’s the real issue people have with Jesus – he lifts us up… he carries us as we hurt, but he also requires things of us… he requires that we turn away from the things that ultimately will lead to our destruction… he requires that we conform to him.
Instead of trying to be tougher and more self-sufficient than we actually are, we should rather admit – with true humility – that we do need a crutch, we do need Jesus, and so be willing to conform to him.