“Jesus is everything.” Mother Teresa’s words were demonstrated by her selfless, Christlike actions—she was a friend to the poor, unabashedly loving society’s rejects and giving hope to the hopeless in her adopted country of India. How broken her heart must have been every time she lifted an untouchable out of the gutter to die in her arms or she fed and bathed a hungry, dirty orphan.
Through her actions, this humble woman proved that Jesus was more than a good man, a brilliant teacher or even a prophet sent from God. She knew in her heart that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, and that knowledge empowered her with enough love for a lifetime of service.
In Matthew 16, Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was.
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” — Matthew 16:15-16
We all know Peter wasn’t perfect. He was the one who had the tendency to speak first and think later. He was the one who denied Jesus three times. Yet at this key moment, he comprehended that Jesus was the Messiah God had promised for centuries. After Pentecost, Peter’s boldness allowed him to proclaim Christ’s identity whenever and wherever he could, regardless of the persecution and suffering it invites.
Eventually, he was crucified for spreading the news that Jesus was God’s Son. The ancient writer Origen records that Peter was crucified head down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. To the apostle who had once denied him, Jesus was everything; in fact, Jesus was the only thing.
The One who lived among us was God’s hands and feet. He gave us the very words of his Father. He taught us how to love. He taught us how to give. And he taught us to die as a grain of wheat dies, so that the seeds of life are multiplied (see John 12:24).
Mother Teresa and Simon Peter understood that with Jesus, there was no such thing as loving moderately. They showed others that Jesus was Lord of their lives by loving as he loved and serving as he served — continually, wholeheartedly and sacrificially.
1. Fill in the blank with the words of your choice: Jesus is ___.
2. How does your answer to the above question affect how you live?
3. On a scale of one to ten, how well are you loving others continually, wholeheartedly and sacrificially?