Keith Wishum: We have to let him
Jesus saves. What does that mean?
To a banker, saying that someone saves might suggest that he regularly deposits some of his income into an interest-bearing account. To an EMS worker, saying that someone saves might mean that he is good at resuscitating dying patients. To a baseball player, saying that someone saves could indicate that he is an excellent late-inning relief pitcher.
So, what does it mean, this little bumper sticker slogan “Jesus saves”? The first response is probably that Jesus saves us from sin — from hell. And, that is most certainly true. It was prophesied about Jesus that “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
But, closer inspection reveals that saving from sin is not all Jesus was about. He didn’t just save “souls”; he saved lives. Consider the young girl whom he raised from the dead. To her parents he said, “Just believe and she will be saved (Luke 8:50 — Your translation may read “healed” but the Greek word is that which is normally translated “saved”).
Jesus saved health. On his way to raise the dead girl, Jesus felt someone touch his clothes. It was a woman who, for 12 years, had an incurable hemorrhage. When she was healed, Jesus said to her “Your faith has healed/saved you” (Luke 8:48).
Jesus saved sanity. Encountering a man who had for some time been deranged and uncontrollable, Jesus returned him to normalcy. Others, amazed by the change, told how the man “had been saved/cured” (Luke 8:36).
Jesus saved relationships. For the leper cured of his disease, more was gained than just a restored body. His renewed health opened the door for him to return to his family, to visit again with his friends, and to be welcomed back among his church. When Jesus said of him, “Your faith has made you well/saved you” (Luke 17:19), much was included in what had been restored.
Jesus saved every facet of lives. Whatever was broken he came to mend.
Yes, he wants to save you from sin and death. But he also wants to save your marriage. To save your relationship with your children and parents. He wants to save your career and your financial stability. There is no part of your life that Jesus the Christ does not want to save. There is no part of it that he cannot save.
Jesus saves — if we let him.
Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church, Americus.