Sometime last week, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Try Jesus.” I asked my family what they thought it meant. We tossed around a few ideas – none of them good ideas as far as I could tell. So, I put the question to my Facebook friends: What does this bumper sticker? How can it be a good exhortation?
Now, it seems that Dan from “The Ekklesia is Southern Maine” has thought about this bumper sticker and written a serious post about it. His post is called “Trying Jesus.” After giving us two possibilities for the meaning of “Try Jesus,” Dan says:
I think they both have a major flaw. It is one of the two words, and obviously it isnâ€™t the word â€œJesus.â€ The word â€œtryâ€ implies seeing if something works for you, itâ€™s as if you are saying â€œgive Jesus a shot.â€ Why? For practical benefit. I donâ€™t believe we can simply â€œgive Jesus a shotâ€ since following him implies dying to oneâ€™s self and completely surrendering to Him as Lord. It seems hard to me to believe that you could try that on for size.
Exactly! Jesus isn’t a product to be tried in order to decide if we like it (him) or not. We can’t try surrender. We can’t try death. We can’t try… well, you get the picture.
Of course, I’ve run into people who have said something like, “I’ve tried that church stuff (or religion stuff), and it didn’t work for me.” I think the answer to a statement like this is, “You’re absolutely right. Trying it will never work for you.”
What do you think?