Did Jesus Do All Things Well?
Did Jesus do all things well? The apostle Mark reports this reaction from those who followed Jesus: “They were utterly astonished, saying, ‘He has done all things well’” (Mark 7:37). What Jesus did, He did A-plus well. But did Jesus do all things? All your things?
But Jesus didn’t have a home or a high-mileage donkey to maintain (Matthew 8:20). Jesus didn’t have a wife to care for, and any married believer will agree that Paul knew what he was talking about when he said being married meant dividing one’s devotions (1 Corinthians 7:32-34). Jesus didn’t have kids. Those who say living with the disciples was like having kids, obviously never had kids. Jesus didn’t get up at 3 a.m. to help Peter throw up and change his sheets, or haul 12 disciples to 12 different soccer fields for twice-a-day practices.
Reality is that Jesus excelled because He knew the difference between core courses—those that God had assigned to Him—and electives. With the list of electives growing almost daily in our world, it is essential we learn to do the same. Electives differ from one person to the next, but if we give to thought to what are, without doubt, our own personal core courses, then our other commitments/activities gradually show themselves to be electives. Maybe good electives, but still electives.
Linger with me for a moment and ponder this thought: Jesus, the perfect student, intimate with the Father, filled with the Spirit and utterly focused on His clarion mission, chose to drop the elective courses that occupy growing portions of our available time. Jesus did not do all our things. How can you and I believe we can get an A-plus on the courses that God has assigned to us, and get A-pluses in our many electives, to boot?
No, followers of Jesus cannot do all things well. Finite people must live with limitations, and limitations means life is full of difficult choices. Let me ask you a penetrating question: “Whose report card really matters? Is it acceptable to be a C-minus Christian on any courses in our A-plus world?”
Depends on which report card matters. If our priority is the world’s report card, then C-minuses or Fs or dropped courses are simply unacceptable. If our priority is God’s report card, C-minuses or Fs or dropped courses on some subjects are very acceptable. In fact, they are essential. When Abba reads our report cards, He is looking for A-plus excellence—that we are doing our human best, undergirded by His Holy Spirit—in all His things He has assigned to us, as individuals and as communities of believers in local churches.
May I propose a better understanding of what excellence as Jesus see it is? Excellence is Jesus teaching us to do all His things well, and being okay getting a C- on the other things that even Jesus didn’t try to do.