It is hard to believe that these words came from a person such as Mother Teresa. It is hard to believe it because she was so remarkable in so many ways; one would think that after literally giving her life to serve others, she would be the most fulfilled person in the world, right?
Well, some time ago I came across with a magazine article about this pious woman, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She seemed to be wrestling for some time with a spiritual dilemma, which she had been unable to resolve, so she wrote a letter to the Pope to ask a question: “I have given everything I have to the needy, I have literally give myself to serve others and comfort them; why do I still feel so empty?” I won't cite the words that the Pope gave her in response just yet, but instead I would like to respond to the words of this despaired woman in search of the truth, and I would like to respond to her using the only book that addresses the most profound questions human beings have: the Word of God, the Bible.
I really think, (and I have read about the life of Mother Teresa and her beliefs) that the problem that bothered Mother Teresa had its roots in what she believed about the Bible and specifically about Jesus Christ. She believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God and that he had died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. She believed that. She believed that the God of the Bible was the Creator of the World, the only one and true God, and she was right, but then what was the problem? It seems to me that she had problems mainly with this one verse:
“For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to ME, and every tongue shall confess to God.’” (Romans 14:11)
I'd like to add two more verses here, just for clarification of the previous:
“For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:9-10b)
This passage clearly refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. Before Him every knee shall bow. Why? He is God in the flesh. No disparity between them, no limits. Christ is God himself and deserves all glory and honor.
It might seem that I have misjudged Mother Teresa's views on Jesus's doctrine, but I have not. She truly believed that He was the Son of the Living God, but nevertheless she didn't give Him the glory that He deserved and still deserves. She decided that He should share His glory with someone else; someone that according to her words deserved even more glory and honor than Jesus. This person was Mary, Jesus's mother.
She recounted a very interesting story about a man who came to her and tell her: "Well, I think you are misled, Mother Teresa, because you give more glory to Mary than to Jesus Christ, the son". She replied (and in this she said she delighted—that she could debate effortlessly with those who opposed to the doctrine she was raised on) "It is as simple as this: No Mary, No Jesus". Mother Teresa believed that above the Lord of all creation was Mary and that Mary had decided not to be born; Jesus hadn't had a chance to even exist! Mary was, according to Mother Teresa, more God, (if you will allow me the expression), than God himself. She gave the glory that belongs only to Christ, to someone else. She bent the knee, yes, indeed she did it, but she bent it before the wrong person. No wonder why she felt the way she did.
Many times we can have all figure it out. We can have all the supposedly right answers, but miss just one little point and so be deadly wrong. I think this was the case with Mother Teresa. She missed the point that Jesus Christ is second to none. Jesus Christ IS NOT ONLY the Savior of the world (and of Mary), but He is the Lord of both—the dead and the living (that pretty much includes everyone)—and before Him every knee shall bow. It is obvious that this extraordinary woman had understood this one truth; she hadn't felt so empty at the end of her life, because Jesus gives life (in every sense of the word) to anyone who is willing to bend the knee before Him.
I recently came across a remarkable video broadcast by Pastor Adrian Rogers, titled "What shall I do with Jesus?" (I urge you to watch it), and I think it is only proper that I ask you this question: What will you do with Jesus now that you know (because it is written in His Word) that He is the Lord of all and before Him you shall bow your knee, either now or in judgment day?
Will you bow your knee to him? Will you ask him to forgive your sins and give you true life, fill your emptiness? I have done it myself and trust me when I say my empty days are over, my remorse is over, and my loneliness is over too. I have a purpose and a hope. What will you do with Jesus? Will you bend your knee? Of this you can be sure: you will never regret it. You will never feel empty again.