If someone had never opened a Bible, what would they think about Jesus?
Would they see Him as loudmouthed, always spouting off right-and-wrong and shaking His fist at the crowds? Or, would they see Him as loving, deeply interested with who each individual was as a person, and wanting to see them live a beautiful and vibrant life?
Would they see Him as fearful, convinced that if A+B doesn’t happen, the whole world as we know it will come to an end? Or, would they see Him as calm, knowing that whatever happens, God has the ultimate authority?
Would they see Him as exclusive, only welcoming some people? Or, would they see Him as radically inclusive, building the most diverse family ever known to mankind?
As you read these, different people may have come to mind, but how about if they saw you? What do your actions communicate about Jesus?
A couple of months ago, Buzzfeed came out with highly controversial video titled “I’m Christian But I’m Not…” While I understand the concerns that many expressed about the video, it serves as a huge wake up call. Rather than having a knee-jerk-reaction, it would be helpful to ask ourselves why so many of them felt a need to clarify their faith. It seems that Christianity currently has such a tarnished reputation that people felt a need to explain themselves.
This shouldn’t be the case. When Jesus was on earth, He was radical. But, not in the way that many today would expect. He was radical in love. He loved the very people that the rest of society shunned. He turned both church tables and people’s perceptions of God upside-down. They expected powerful leader, not a carpenter-preacher. Rather than law, He preached grace. Rather than power, He taught humility.
As Christ’s representatives, we’re called to do the same. We’re called to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgivable. Now, obviously we’re not perfect. If we were, we wouldn’t need Jesus. We’ll never be able to flawlessly immitate Jesus here on earth, but if we show love and grace, we’ve demonstrated the most important attributes of His character.
The most powerful sermon we’ll ever preach is the one that we live with our lives. Thus, I challenge you to live grace.
To show it to even the most difficult of people.
To love people where they are.
To live in such a way that anyone who saw you would get a window into the amazing love and grace of our Savior. 🙂