Where Am I On the List?
Our culture loves to rank things. Just take a look at all the top ten lists that are published. There are lists ranking the best – or worst – songs, movies, jobs, places to live, and things to see. We rank people too. There are lists covering looks, bodies, popularity, effectiveness, and abilities. High school athletes are rated by recruiting services as 1 star up to five stars. The only thing worse than a low rating is no rating. People even rank themselves. Just listen to conversations that include phrases like “… at least I am better than so and so.” Or, “… at least I look better than she does.”
It even happens when thinking about God. “I may not be as good as he is, but at least I am better than she is.” We can always find someone we think is worse than us. It is as if God is going to let people into heaven based on some kind of top ten list where the goal is to be better than enough other people so that you make the cut.
Except that God is perfect. He is never even tempted to do the wrong thing. So the issue is not how I rank compared to anyone else, but how I rank compared to God. And there is the problem. No one is good enough to live with God forever. Not me. Not you. Not anyone. That is why God sent his son Jesus to take away our sins. And that is why there are only two places of God’s list: those who believe in Jesus, and those who do not.
So the not so good people, the pretty good people, and the really bad people can end up all together in the first spot on God’s list. Because they believe in Jesus. And that is how some pretty good people, even some really good people end up all together in the last spot. Because no one is good enough.
And that is the point. You do not have to be. Jesus is good enough for us all. You just have to follow him.