FAITH SEEKING UNDERSTANDING: Chapter 5: Do You have Yahbut’s Disease?

by Steve Albertin

Today Steve tells us about a different plague from a different time…or is it really that different?

At the time of Luther, a terrible disease was sweeping across Europe, the Plague. Today the world is suffering under a different kind of plague, the Coronavirus. They are not the only kinds of disease that afflict our world. Another disease afflicts our world that is far more pervasive than any plague: the dreaded “YAHBUT’S DISEASE!” The cure of this disease comes from the most surprising of places: the cross of Christ!


At the time of Martin Luther in the 16th century, there was a terrible disease sweeping Germany and Europe. In fact, it’s still a disease sweeping the world today. It is the dreaded yabos disease. You ever heard of Yabos disease? I’m going to tell you all about yabos disease. Like most diseases, we always look for a simple cure. Some medicine, if we just take the right pills at the right time, at the right intervals, we can get healed of our disease, maybe even ya’s disease. But before you can get a prescription for the right medicine, you need a proper diagnosis. What is this disease, this ya’s disease? What are its symptoms? I’m sure you’re familiar with them. In fact, I suspect you’ve got them just like I do. Ya’s disease shows up in all kinds of ya, but conversations. Oh, I know you’ve heard some of them. Oh yeah, officer. I was going too fast, but I was late to work. Yeah, teacher. I know my homework was late, but it’s not my fault. I mean, my mother asked me to clean up my bedroom last night.

I was late to work. I slept in, but it’s really not my fault. I mean, I had to stay up late last night to clean up my bedroom. Pastor. I have said, but I’m just human. I mean, it’s not my fault. Sound familiar? That is Ya’s disease and we are all infected. We all cannot help making excuses. We all feel compelled to somehow prove that I am right. We try to justify ourselves and our lives and show that others are wrong. In the church, we have another name for Yabos disease. We call it sin. Martin Luther, in perhaps what he described as perhaps his most profound and important work to him called the bondage of the will did a marvelous description of Ya’s disease and and how we experience it. All of us in our daily lives, no matter what we do, no


Matter hard, we try. No matter how much work we do to succeed, regardless of our accomplishments and how much we want to get ahead to make some of ourselves, we are all stuck. We’re sick. We’re in bondage. Regardless of how hard we try, we cannot get free of ourselves. Our will is all curved in on ourselves. Luther said, quoting the church fathers that went before him, and the symptoms of this disease are oh, so painful and exhausting and deadly. So what is the cure for Ya’s disease? For this bondage? Believe me, you’re not going to find it in pills. There’s only one place. You’re going to find it there in the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one who becomes sick for us, takes sin, ya’s disease upon himself, and suffers the consequences of our bad choices, our bad habits, our poor behaviors, and instead gives us his health, which we see in Christ in his life, even on the cross, finally in the empty tomb, and his appearances afterwards showing us what it is like because of him to be free of yaah but’s disease. Therefore, we have new life and new freedom, and we free from this disease. We don’t need to offer those excuses. We aren’t plagued by having to justify ourselves. We don’t have to pretend to be what we are not. We don’t even have to show anyone that we matter because God in Christ, in the cross has said we matter. You are free healed of yaah butt’s disease. The cure, not here but here for the dreaded yahs disease.

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In the early 1970s two seminary professors listened to the plea of some lay Christians. “Can you help us live out our faith in the world of daily work?” they asked. “Can you help us connect Sunday worship with our lives the other six days of the week?”  That is how Crossings was born.


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