“Jesus offers zoe, the Greek word for ‘life as God has it.’ Whereas bios, its sibling term, is life extensive, zoe is life intensive. Jesus talks less about life’s duration and more about its quality, vitality, energy, and fulfillment.”- Max Lucado
“The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.”- Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)
In Chapter 12 (“The Last Word on Life”), the final chapter of 3:16 – The Numbers of Hope, Max Lucado observes that some hopes fail to deliver. Yet, Max states, ‘if only’ dreams lurk in each of our biographies. The only barrier between us and bliss.
However, Pastor Lucado counsels, don’t confuse costume jewelry with God’s sapphire. Ultimately, earthly possessions fail to satisfy. Rather, Jesus achieves zoe as He reconnects your soul with God. Also, in Genesis 2:7 the Hebrew word translated ‘being’ = nephesh. And in the context of a person, nephesh refers to one’s soul.
But, Max cautions, we need to remember who created whom:
“When we attempt to swap roles with God and tell him we can eat (think, say, do, control, own, hurt, inhale, ingest, demand) anything we want, we die two deaths. Adam and Eve did. They died physically, eventually, and spiritually, instantly.”
In conclusion, Pastor Lucado stresses, the earthly possession we perceive to bring life only bring limited amounts. Even though we connect with a career and find meaning in family, we long for something more. Like a model train, our lives chug along in long ovals, lap after lap.
But Jesus breathes life into flatlined lives. On a trip to China, Max rode a tour bus past Tiananmen Square. One of the other Western tourists asked the guide if she recalled the revolt there. In a solemn voice, she told them she was part of it. The tourists listened. And we follow Christ for the same reason. He’s been there.
Today’s question: How do you respond when Jesus offers zoe? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Look in the mirror – see a wreck?”