Jesus Christ the Same
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Change: It is said that change is the only constant in our world, and we feel that on a daily basis. Whether it is changing mandates for coronavirus or the ever-changing political scene, change is certainly inevitable in our world.
Some of us thrive on change and some abhor it, but sooner or later we all get weary of it if there is constant change. We long for stability and the predictable. We desire some sense of normalcy in our lives. And more in our current culture than ever before.
We just want something, or someone, we can count on that is a constant or unchanging. We long for something, or someone, that we can trust for stability and that steadfastness that holds us like an anchor.
Trusting in people many times leaves us disappointed because in our humanness, our incompleteness, we fail each other. Trusting in institutions and human authorities often leaves us wanting. Trusting in our wealth and our own stability leaves us uneasy as well. It can also be fleeting.
But there is one entity, one person, who never leaves us guessing. He never changes. He is just, faithful, loving, and we can count on him to be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Hebrews 13:5–8 says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper: I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’ Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
We can take heart and have confidence in Jesus. Unlike our own wealth or earthly leaders which will disappoint and constantly change, Jesus is the one steadfast and unchanging anchor who can hold our lives together. So let us take confidence in him. Let us cling to him. We can trust him. We can count on him each and every day.—Jon Allen1
Our unchanging Savior
In the midst of this ever-changing environment, it is good to remember that there is one thing that never changes—and that is Jesus Christ! He was in the past exactly who He is in the present and precisely who He will be forever. That’s why Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” …
The Greek word for the “same” emphatically states that Jesus Christ is unchangeable. What good news this is in a world where things are changing at lightning speed. Jesus Christ is the one Person we can depend on to be the same, regardless of the time or the spirit of the age. We don’t need to refigure who Jesus is, what He thinks, or what His message is, because He is the same—and everything He represents is the same—yesterday, today, and forever.
The word “yesterday” is the Greek word exthes, and it depicts all time that ever was up until this present moment. It describes the past. The word “today” is the Greek word semeron, and it means today or at this very moment or this current age. It depicts the present. But in the Bible when the words “yesterday and today” are used in one phrase, as they are used here, it also portrays continuity.
The words “yesterday and today” are an Old Testament expression to denote continuity.2 So here we find that Jesus isn’t one way in the past and another way in the present. Whoever He was in the past is exactly who He is in the present. There is continuity in Jesus Christ. Therefore, if you discover Jesus of the past, you have also discovered Jesus of the present, and you have discovered Jesus of the future, because He is continuously the same.
The word “forever” in Greek means into all the ages of the future. This phrase depicts all future time to come, including all ages that will ever be known. Hence, it describes the future. Hebrews 13:8 carries this idea: “Jesus Christ is exactly the same in the past, in the present, and in the future.”
I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for all future ages. With all the sweeping changes happening in the world right now, I thank God that Jesus isn’t one of them! Whoever He was in the past is who He is in the present and who He will be forever.—Rick Renner3
Thou who changeth not
We trust not in ourselves, but in God, who raises up the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and who doth deliver, and in whom we trust He will yet deliver. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Oh, the unchanging Lord, the unchanging Christ; our blessed Lord never changes. And God said, “I AM, I AM.”
So many things change today, so many springs that run dry. There are two kinds of springs. Some we call “weather springs” and some we call “dry weather springs.” In the early part of summer, when much rain is falling, these little basins are formed in the creeks’ banks that hold the water. But when the hot weather comes and rain ceases, they dry up from the water’s source. They’re springs that dry up because they have their source in an upper fountain.
So many sources of pleasure and comfort change as the years go by. But the Christian’s joy and peace doesn’t dry up or change because it has its source in an upper, everlasting fountain—the unchanging Lord. As God’s Word says, “There is a stream that makes glad the heart of man.”4 Christ has not changed, He’s just the same. What He did for others in the past, He can do for you today!
This brings to mind a precious old hymn that fits into this message of the one that we can abide in, who changes not, the “I AM” that we read about, the Christ who changes not:
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
We need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, our guide and stay can be?
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!5—Virginia Brandt Berg
His unchanging love
Regardless of how we may happen to feel, if we love the Lord and are walking by faith and obeying His Word, then we know that our relationship with the Lord is firm. And we certainly know that His love for us is unchangeable, unwavering. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you.” “I will never leave you nor forsake you!”6
There aren’t too many verses in the Bible about feelings, but there are a lot about faith and trusting the Lord and believing His Word! God’s Word says if you “draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to you.”7 If you sincerely want to love Jesus and please Him and do His will, then He will “draw nigh unto you” when you call out to Him.
The Bible says, “The Lord is near to all who call on Him in truth. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”8 When we’re humbled by our own mistakes and shortcomings and sinfulness, we don’t usually feel so inspired or close to the Lord, but we may, in fact, be very close to Jesus at such times. So just because you’re feeling down, that does not necessarily indicate that you’re far from the Lord. You can be very close to the Lord even if you’re feeling terrible.
You’re not always going to be excited and feel inspired and joyful! Sometimes you’re hungry, tired, or sick. And when you’re sick, it can be pretty difficult to enjoy anything! Sometimes you feel like you can barely even get out a little cry of help to the Lord, as you struggle just to keep your mind on the fact that He loves and cares about you.
Sometimes you might not feel close to Jesus. Other times you might feel close to Jesus. But don’t let that worry you. Even if you don’t feel close to Jesus, you can still be close to Him. Because closeness to Jesus is much more than a mere feeling! It is a fact based on His Word and His unchanging promises and His unfailing love.—Maria Fontaine
Published on Anchor October 2022. Read by Jerry Paladino.
Music by John Listen.
2 See Exodus 5:14; 2 Samuel 15:20.
4 Psalm 46:4.
5 Adapted from “Abide with Me; Fast Falls the Eventide,” Henry Lyte, 1847.
6 Jeremiah 31:3; Isaiah 54:10; Hebrews 13:5.
7 James 4:8.
8 Psalm 145:18 NIV, 34:18 ESV.