Yesterday we heard the sad news of Steve Jobs' passing. Any death has a tinge of sadness but none as much as the death of a person who is without Jesus. From all accounts Steve Jobs was a wonderful man who led a good life. His work reflected his intelligence and passion. His life reflected his Buddhist beliefs. He had no great passion for money but instead a desire to do something different in the world, to leave a mark:
"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful … that's what matters to me." 1.
However, for all his brilliance, talent, innovation, and money the fact is he died. What has any of these things done for him? None of it went with him. He arrived in the world naked and he left the same way. In a century no one will remember anything about him except for maybe his name in a text book. No one will remember the specifics of his life other than maybe the information condensed in a history book. No one will even care how much he enjoyed the wind in his face or how he chuckled at his children's laughter or how his face lit up as his wife walked into the room. No one will know or care about the little things that made him Steve. But Jesus did.
Jesus knew and cared about every detail of his life as he does for our lives. He cared about his worries and fears. He cared about his dreams and desires. He cared about his loves and losses. Jesus loved Steve Jobs as much as he loves you and me, as much as he loves every breathing person on this planet. Right now Jesus' heart is breaking over Steve because he died and was lost. For all that made him great he was still a man lost in darkness.
The world celebrates the brilliance and success of this man but the world is not wise. You will hear lots of great tributes about this man and his compassionate heart but the world does not understand wisdom. You will hear Christians lifting him up and hoping for some special favour for this creator of the iPod, iPhone and iPad, but they are immature in their wisdom. What after all are those devices compared to eternity? The world looks and celebrates but the world itself is lost:
Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20)
There are many "wise" people who are facing a very dark and cold grave thinking they have lived a brilliant life only to face a tragic death. Don't get caught up in the thinking of this world. Jesus taught us that there are two roads, one narrow leading to life and one broad leading to destruction. There is a hell and it is a terrible place to be. There is no second chance after death, no purgatory:
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)
Doesn't your heart break over the lose of this beautiful man? Well there are hundreds of thousands of beautiful people being lost to death and sin every day. That is the work we have been appointed to, the work of the Kingdom in this world, the Kingdom that is forcefully advancing. We are called to the brilliant life of service, presenting Jesus to a world bent on destruction. We are called to suffer for the name of Jesus as we reach out to all those shrouded in darkness. We can't afford to see another soul lost as we have seen with Steve Jobs. We must press on with the message of the wisdom and power of God, Christ crucified. We should be spurred on by Jesus' love, compelled to glorify Jesus so that the world will see, believe and be saved. That is the purpose of our living. So let's go!