Is Jesus All We Need?

Is Jesus all we need or does the world actually need more than Jesus? The answer is yes. In order to answer the question, we'll look at how Jesus fulfills our needs through the classic psychology theory of American psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and compare that to scripture.

Our world seems to be in chaos, and we’re being pummeled with new bad news every single day.  Every day there is a new situation to pray about.  Viruses, racism, murder hornets and as the Bible says, “wars and rumor of wars.”   Then the creator of Veggie Tales makes a pretty bold statement.

This statement created a lot of emotions.  At first, I thought to myself in a Mr. T sounding voice, “Jesus is the answer, fool! How dare you!” However, I’m a pretty practical person and after I calmed down I could reasonably ask the question, “Is Jesus all we need?” or does the world actually need more than Jesus.    The answer is yes.

In order to answer the question “Does Jesus fulfill all our needs?“, we need to know what needs we have.  Let’s look at how Jesus fulfills our needs through the classic psychology theory of American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

In this classic theory, Maslow suggests that we are at stages of needs.  Once one is fulfilled, we begin to need new things.  If we are starving, we most likely care less about our number of likes on Instagram.

One thing that is important to note in this theory is that this is a fluid hierarchy.   A person can be starving for food and for love.  A person can desire respect and independence while needing safety.   Still, until the underlying need is met, it will still be motivating the individual.

Does Jesus Fulfill Our Needs Based On Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs?

MaslowTo be clear, Maslow wasn’t a Christian and his methodology was flawed.   However, the hierarchy of needs makes enough sense that we should look at them and see if Jesus fulfills all these needs.  Buckle up because we’re going to look at a lot of scripture!

Does Jesus Save?

The first of these needs is survival.   Food and shelter are at the base of every human need.  Without either, we won’t last too long.   However, what does the Bible say about our need for food and shelter?

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:4 NLT

Jesus had gone 40 days without food when He said this to Satan.  I could write an entire book on whether or not God provides for basic survival.   It’s probably safe to assume that if you’re reading this, you aren’t about to starve to death.   However, the Bible has a lot to say about God providing for our basic needs.   The key is faith.

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.Psalm 127:2 (NLT)
Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.Psalm 37:25 (NLT)

Does Jesus provide safety?

The next level of Maslow’s need pyramid is safety.   Similar to survival, we need food to live and we need to be safe from harm.   Our world doesn’t feel safe.    Even Jesus prayed this for His disciples (John 17:15).  During this year of craziness, I’ve seen a non-scientific yet interesting phenomenon.   My Christian friends, the ones I know love Jesus, go to church and discuss their faith, are not in panic mode.   They feel that the future is uncertain, but they have a quiet faith that is able to withstand the storm.  My non-believing friends are a bit in a panic.  The contrast is pretty amazing.

When I think about verses that remind me that God provides for my safety, I think of the Psalms and David.  David was in constant danger.   He was constantly living on the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid.   Yet, his faith was in God.  David constantly referred to God as his “rock” and “fortress.”   God may not always provide the type of shelter we’d want, but He does always fulfill this basic need.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.Psalm 18:2 NLT

Does Jesus provide love?

Jesus is love.  Yes, He loves you.  It doesn’t matter what race or what label society has placed on you, He loves you.  Christians don’t always accept everyone and that’s a shame.  However, Jesus always accepts you.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.I John 4:7-8 NLT

Does Jesus provide esteem?

If you’re a Christian, then you’re likely tracking with me here.   God is love; He’s our fortress, and He provides for all our needs, but how about respect and identity?   Does Jesus provide esteem for us? The Bible doesn’t just say that God loves us.  It doesn’t just exclaim how much God loves us, but it goes on to say that we are adopted as sons and daughters.   No matter what or who the world claims you are, you are a son or daughter of God! Not only that, but you have an inheritance based on this adoption.   This is God’s promise and covenant with us.

And because we[c] are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.Galatians 4:6-7 NLT

Does Jesus provide self-actualization?

According to Maslow, once you know you’re loved and provided for, you strive for respect.  After getting respect, you’ll reach the pinnacle of this pyramid and start to need something more fulfilling.  You’ll strive for meaning and significance.  Isn’t it interesting that Maslow’s pyramid gets easier for Jesus to fulfill as you climb up it.   That’s because Jesus offers us all of this.  There’s an eternity of meaning waiting for you, His children, whom He loves and because He loves, He’ll protect and provide.  We simply have to choose to accept it all.

So does Jesus fulfill all of our needs?  The answer is a resounding yes!

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19 NLT

Jesus calls us to do more.

The challenge then becomes understanding the question of, “If Jesus can fulfill all my needs, then why is He not the answer to every problem?”    It seems like these ideas are opposed.   However, not every question is binary.  Referring back to Phil’s comments, if everyone in America did suddenly follow Jesus, these problems would be solvable relatively quickly.  However, America suddenly turning to Christ and repenting is highly unlikely.   I’m not willing to concede to Phil that the solution isn’t following Jesus.  Jesus is the answer; He’s always the answer.  However, I will agree with him that we need more Jesus followers actually doing the work to heal our world and stop sitting on the sidelines.

If you’re a Christian, you’re called to do more than just watch the world burn.  If you don’t feel connected to a particular movement or cause, look around there is plenty of opportunities to help in other areas.  The world needs Jesus and the world needs you to show and tell them about Him.   You do this through your actions, not just your social media posts.

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.James 2:14-17 NLT

Jesus doesn’t fulfill all your needs so that you can be comfortable.   Jesus fulfills all your needs so you can be used to fulfill other’s needs.

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