|Luke 2:21||Read Online|
When the eight days were completed for His circumcision, He was named Jesus—the name given by the angel before He was conceived.
—Luke 2:21 (HCSB)
“It’s good enough.”
Kids sometimes think this when they’re cleaning their room and forget to pick up the clothing and toys around the edges, or when they skip the homework math problems that seem too tricky. Their parents often think this when they’re too tired at the end of the day to clean up the supper dishes or to lead the family in spiritual conversation and prayer.
Work projects. Church commitments. Housework. Many of us feel so overcommitted and stretched so thin that everything we do is simply “good enough.” It has to be—we don’t have the time or energy to do it right.
Fortunately, we don’t serve a Savior who was satisfied to live a life that was “good enough.” He lived His life perfectly, with excellence, in every task He completed and every word He spoke. His life even began that way. As the perfect, sinless Son of God, perhaps it would’ve been “good enough” if His parents skipped out on some of the Jewish customs.
Joseph and Mary didn’t just do what was “good enough,” though. Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day of His life—a symbolic act marking Him Jewish as well as marking the covenant God had with His people (see Genesis 17:1-14). By performing this act, His parents ensured He began His earthly life in fulfillment of the law.
What they couldn’t possibly have understood, however, is that this same perfect baby, who fulfilled the obligations of the law when His parents had Him circumcised and then named Him, would also grow up to be the Savior who ultimately fulfilled the law through His sacrificial death on the cross. Even His name, JESUS, which means Savior, foreshadows His ultimate purpose in coming to earth as one of us.
Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth as a human was fulfilled in His death and resurrection, and it’s certainly of utmost importance to remember that He lived a sinless life. He kept the law. He didn’t give people a reason to doubt His integrity or be confused about His identity.
In other words, even though He was God, He didn’t live above the law. He lived within it. Every moment of His life was consistent.
Unfortunately, we often don’t hold ourselves to high expectations such as these. Instead of seeking to live lives of integrity, we live lives that are merely “good enough.”
We raise our hands in worship on Sunday morning, then raise them in anger at other drivers on the interstate. We speak insightful, encouraging words during Bible study, then utter cutting remarks about others after we leave.
We’re inconsistent. Unlike Jesus, we do give others the opportunity to doubt our integrity or question what it means to be followers of Christ.
Certainly, none of us will ever be perfect, but I wonder how the church’s witness in the world would change if each of us sought to live lives of excellence, obeying God’s Word and seeking His face, even in our mundane daily activities, instead of merely getting by with “good enough.”
- In what way was Jesus’ name appropriate for His life’s purpose? How did His entire life reflect His name?
- Consider the authenticity and excellence of your life. What name would be most appropriate for you right now?
- What is keeping you from living an authentic, God honoring life?
- What will you change today to make your life more consistent with excellence, rather than being satisfied with “good enough”?