Why Keeping Jesus at the Center of Your Life Simply Isn’t Enough
It’s increasingly common these days to talk about putting Jesus “at the center” of our lives, our churches, and our society. This is in many ways a welcome development. But sometimes this terminology can also mislead us—or at least limit us.
Consider this: If we ask, “Who is the focus of the future of the universe?”, or more accurately, “Who occupies the throne that is the focus of the future of the universe?” then Scripture knows only one answer—our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ is more than just central; Christ is also supreme!
We read in Revelation 5:6-12:
Then I saw a lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne … and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb … and they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals … Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.’
The Greek word “kurios” is employed by all New Testament writers to express Jesus’ highest title. “Lord” is the word chosen by English language translators. Kurios was also a term used by Greek-speaking Jews to translate the sacred Hebrew name for God (Yahweh). Biblical scholar Ralph Martin documented that throughout Scripture “Lord” not only denoted “rulership based upon competent and authoritative power, the ability to dispose of what one possesses …”, but when applied to our Savior it declared that “Jesus Christ is installed in the place which rightfully belongs to God himself as the Lord of all creation…the place of cosmic authority.”
Do you see what this means?
Jesus is, right now, already reigning and ruling as supreme over it all.
He’s more than just at the center of it all. He encompasses it all.
And that is no simple play on words. Let me explain.
I’d like to cite Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic work on the person of God’s Son (Christ the Center)—possibly his greatest legacy before the Nazis executed him by hanging in 1945—in which he unequivocally wrote, “It is the nature [emphasis added] of Christ to be the center.” I totally agree. But then I must rush to add: It is the nature of Christ to be supreme over all for which he also is central.
This perspective is not denying that making Christ supreme is included in the goal of God’s plan; yes, this is the ultimate result of all of God’s activities, and nothing less.
Rather, first of all and before it all, I’m suggesting that every indication of Scripture is that not only centrality, but even more definitively, supremacy is inherent to Christ’s very being, from eternity to eternity.
Supreme—this is who Jesus Christ is.
Not only is he the One everything is wrapped around, that everything must come back to, he also is the One who wraps everything up into his person, gathering us into his purposes, his passions, and his potency.
Supreme—this is who Jesus Christ is.
We might say it another way: Christ is the circumference—the One in whom everything is summed up, the One in whom all the saints must forever live and move and have their being in order to find their true, God-ordained identity and destiny.
Being the circumference—being in himself the summation and the consummation of all biblical prophecies and promises—is equally inseparable from who Jesus is as the Son of the Father, as well as inseparable from where he’s headed, and what he’s doing, and how he gets exalted.
In point of fact, we no longer have to crown Christ as supreme because Christ is already sitting on the throne in infinite authority and sovereignty! Christ was placed there by the Father when he was vindicated by the resurrection and coronated by his ascension.
We can’t make Christ any more supreme than he already is—by nature and by nomination.
We should throw our personal crowns (all we hold dear) at his feet like the elders show us in Revelation 5!
Let’s go beyond seeing Christ merely as the center of our lives because he is so much more! We must daily recognize and fully respond to the Lord Jesus Christ as supreme—over our lives, our churches, the creation, and all that there is—ordering every step of our walk with him to be in him accordingly, and then invite others to do the same!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Bryant
Known as a proclaimer of Christ and messenger of hope, David Bryant is the founder and president of Proclaim Hope!, a ministry whose goal is to serve a nationwide Christ Awakening. David is the author of five books, including Christ Is ALL! A Joyful Manifesto on the Supremacy of God’s Son.