Why Do Americans Believe That Jesus Is A Commodity?

A commodity has several definitions. The most useful is an interchangeable item that satisfies a want or need in the marketplace. For example, a pound of pure (99.9%) metal has a value. It does not matter where it came from or who made it. The same types of coffee beans, grains, or even computer chips, are interchangeable with each other. It doesn’t matter which computer chip you use as long as it is the same model. They have value because of what they are, not because the individual has value as an individual.

Americans are viewing Jesus as a commodity, something that “fits” and meets their needs, and not as the thrice holy God who created the universe along with everyone and everything in it. The relationship is backwards. Instead of submitting to God, they want God to submit to them, to be useful, to go into the “slot” they need Him to fill.
On the lowest and worst level, some people view Jesus as nothing more than an eternal fire insurance policy. These people want Jesus to keep them out of hell, as long as Jesus does not interfere with their existing lifestyle. Any thinking person condemns this attitude. However, many who condemn the “life insurance” attitude in others unknowingly have that same attitude in their own hearts, just in a different form.

A second attitude is found in people who accept Jesus because He makes them feel good. These people really are somewhat better. These people might actually love Him for what He gives them. The prosperity gospel is among the ideas that fit into this category. Sadly, this attitude causes the person to become blind to the true weaknesses of his condition. And at the same time, he is among the first to condemn others.

The next category is made up of people who simply want some kind of god to fill a traditional role. These people are often very involved in politics, schools, lodges, sports, or any other group of people. They are “people-oriented.” God is necessary, as long as God is generic enough to be acceptable to everyone in the group. Their God is not as important as their place in society and their acceptance by other people.

The answer is for man to think of himself as the commodity. He must fit into God’s plan and purpose, to function as part of the body of true believers. To do that, he must apply this Scripture: Let a man examine himself to see if he is in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5) This examination process should allow the Holy Spirit, using the Word of God and other believers, to test both our faith and our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our relationship with Jesus the Messiah should mirror a marriage. It is not a 50/50 relationship. We should love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. The God of Glory is not just another commodity we add to our lives.

Image Credit: 500 gram silver bar produced by Johnson Matthey released into the public domain by en:User:Kallemax. Wikimedia Commons.

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