As surely as God is faithful, my word to you does not waver between "Yes" and "No." For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between "Yes" and "No." He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God's ultimate "Yes," he always does what he says. For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding "Yes!" And through Christ, our "Amen" (which means "Yes") ascends to God for his glory. –2 Corinthians 1:18–20, NLT
I was recently reading 2 Corinthians and this passage struck me. While I've read it many times, the idea of Jesus being God's ultimate "Yes" rained fresh living water over me. How often do we view Jesus as the ultimate "Yes"? Jesus says "Yes" to love, redemption, grace, restored relationships, healing, lasting change, meaningful community, life to the full, hope, help, freedom. Sometimes we equate Jesus with "No" more than "Yes." For example, we can easily point out what we had to start saying "No" to when we began following Christ. When we see Jesus as a "No," life can seem hopeless. It can feel like a list of no's and not anymores and don't do thats—and they're all things we can't live up to.
But Jesus doesn't present himself as a "No." Recently my small group did a study on the freedom that Christ brings. It was fascinating how many people in our group had never thought much about Jesus bringing freedom to his followers (except maybe literal freedom to prisoners in Acts). It was a foreign idea that we all need freedom—from sin, misunderstandings about God, legalistic tendencies, past hurts, and more. We also realized why so many unbelievers may equate Jesus with saying "No;" we had been living lives that did not showcase the freedom that Christ brings!
What might happen if we changed our message about Jesus? What might happen if our primary message was "Yes" instead of "No"? What might happen if we began presenting to our group (and everyone we know) all the things Jesus says "Yes" to? I believe we'd paint a different picture of Jesus for many people. We might even become caught up in this new, beautiful picture of Jesus. And those no's, I bet they'd pale in comparison and fade into the background.
Does your group understand Jesus as God's ultimate "Yes?"
Can all types of groups successfully point to Jesus as the ultimate "Yes?" For instance, are accountability groups able to do this?