“We know that you have been badly served by those who came before us. They made promises that they didn’t keep, but my party will be radically different. Trust me. You’ve had enough of dishonest, self-serving and weak leaders – wait until you see what I will do for you!” (Hopeful politician)
“All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers … The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Jesus of Nazareth, John 10:8-10)
Experience tells us to beware big claims. Yet paradoxically many people do trust that the parcel will arrive on time, do believe that the holiday destination will be as pictured, do even think that the government has the power to make our country great again, whilst finding Jesus’ claims about giving full life unbelievable.
Why is this? Why would we be willing to entrust ourselves to the promises of fallible human beings but assume that Jesus’ words are a fiction and not worth a second glance?
Did Jesus tell lies? His friend Peter reported that “no deceit was found in his mouth” and close friends usually know the worst.
Did he have a hidden self-centred agenda? If he’d wanted to serve himself he would not have walked into Jerusalem to deliberately give up his life as the ransom price that would secure for us the abundant life he had promised.
Did Jesus mean well but lack the power to really change anything? But that was what amazed people wherever he went; the crowds were terrified when they saw his power and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
So, when Jesus said that he was not like the false liberators that had gone before him, maybe, just maybe he was speaking the truth. Do you know anyone who would be a better candidate for your trust?