Is Jesus an interesting topic to discuss?
Do non-Christians like talking about Jesus?
Do Christians like talking about Jesus?
What would cause people to be interested in talking about Jesus?
One of the favorite topics the people of the multiple cities, towns and villages Jesus regularly visited, was the power of Jesus. Hundreds of people saw with their own eyes Jesus do things that no human could ever do. He turned water into choicest tasting wine. He told people lame from birth to walk. He told blind people to see. He walked on water. He calmed storms. He brought sanity to people who were insane. He even made people who were dead, come back to life.
Let's be reminded of the crowds' amazement of Jesus. "A vast crowd brought to Jesus people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all. The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel." Matt 15:30-31
Some have tried to write this off as myth or legend. They followed the idea that the New Testament is an oral tradition. That after many generations of passing along the stories theey got exaggerated into legendary stories.
Others have tried to write this off as the people in Jesus' day were not very intelligent and very gullible.
But, have we reminded them about the thousands of eyewitnesses, the details in the Biblical accounts, the incredible time frame of when the New Testament books were written?
A gentleman who loved to talk about Jesus, was talking with Emperor Hadrian in the year 124 AD. "The works of our Saviour were always present, for they were genuine: those that were healed, and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Saviour was on earth, but also after his death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day." His name was Quadratus.
When was the last time you had a conversation with someone reminding them about the thousands of eyewitnesses of Jesus' miracles?
When was the last time you were in a conversation about Jesus and reminded them about the details that the Gospel writers included so that anyone reading their account could go to that those specific towns and ask anyone about Jesus' miracles?
When was the last time you were engaging someone about the topic of Jesus and you reminded them that the four biographies of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were written 20-40 years after Jesus rose from the dead? This opportunity is similar to discussing any historical experience in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Just as there are eyewitnesses of these historical events still living, so were there eyewitness to Jesus' life and resurrection when the gospels were written. Be sure to share this information when you are discussing Jesus.
Don't you love to talk about Jesus?
Doesn't it make your day when you have a conversation about Jesus?
Doesn't life provide so much meaning when we have conversations about the most important human being in the history of the world, whom could potentially change someone's eternal destiny?
Praying for daily conversations about Jesus,
What is so special about Jesus?
What made people stop and talk about Jesus?
What made people want to hear more about Jesus?
What made people change their schedules to get a glimpse of Jesus or to hear him speak?
So many things. One of them was his teaching. Over and over again, people would be struck to their souls by the words that came out of him. They used words like "astonished," "amazed' and "authoritative." Matthew recorded, "When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law." Matt 7:28
What was so amazing about his teaching? Was it the words? Was it his style? Was it new and different topics? Was it his power? Was it his truth?
As the religious leaders took time to create theological, political and logical traps, Jesus always responded in ways that turned the question around and pierced the heart and mind of his plotters and listeners. One example was when the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus by asking "Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?"
If Jesus responded, "Yes," the crowds would have turned against Jesus; a win for the Religious Leaders. If Jesus responded. "No," the Romans would come after and arrest him; a win for the Religious Leaders.
Jesus responded, "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it." They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose image is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied.Then Jesus said to them, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed."
Jesus re-taught them how to be a God honoring citizen. More importantly, he also struck to each person's center by challenging each person with whom is their God. The coin clearly bore the image of its owner, Caesar's. Each human bears the image of its Creator, Jesus.
So, this astonishing teaching is a soul-haunting challenge. Are your hands, feet and mouth being used by Jesus to serve every person you encounter; Christian and non-Christian alike?
Do you, as a Christian, who bears the image of Jesus, reflect Jesus' image in everything you do, say and are? Does each person you encounter every day, marvel in their minds that you must have met with Jesus that morning?
When was the last time you served someone in a way that they wondered about Jesus?
When was the last time you talked about Jesus' amazing teachings with someone, especially a non-Christian?
What is Jesus wanting to do in your life this Easter season?
How does Jesus want to use your hands, your feet and your mouth each day?
How is your life reflecting the image of Jesus?
Are you giving back to God what is God's?
Are you still astonished about Jesus or do you take him for granted?
Willing to show the image of Jesus,
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"
The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?"
Jesus asked her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
She said, "I have no husband."
Why did Jesus start this conversation with this woman whom no one would relate to?
What motivated Jesus to talk with her?
What was in Jesus' heart and mind towards her?
Do you care about what Jesus cares about?
Are your priorities like Jesus' priorities?
Are you concerned about peoples' eternal destinies?
Do you care if people know Jesus?
Maybe all we have to do is be a little more intentional about our day. Maybe we can be more open to being like Jesus and start spiritual conversations.
Here are some ideas.
What is your spiritual background?
Easter season is coming, what are your thoughts about Easter?
Who is Jesus to you?
Praying for each of us to have weekly spiritual conversations,
What is the most important question every person needs to ask and answer?
What do you believe?
What happens when you die?
Jesus tried to help a man discover the most important question. I don't think that man understood what Jesus was trying to do. This is normal for all of us. It is easier for us to get caught up in the most pressing problem, challenge or fear that we are facing at any given moment. It is easier for us to push off or shrug off the most important question that each person has to ask and answer in their life time.
Let's look at this encounter with Jesus.
"As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, 'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'
'Why do you call me good?' Jesus asked. 'No one is good—except God alone.'" Mark 10:17-18
Is the question this rich young ruler asked, the most important question? How did Jesus respond? Did He say, "Well, that's a very good question. In fact, you have asked the most important question in life."
Look at Jesus' response. "Why do you call me good?" Why did Jesus instead answer with a question about himself? What was Jesus trying to do?
Jesus was trying to help this man understand what the most important question in the world is. It has to do with Jesus. With this man's religious and cultural background, I believe Jesus was trying to help this man discover that the most important question is, "Who is Jesus?" Is Jesus truly good? Is Jesus truly God?
Yes, this man's question about how do I inherit eternal life is right on track to being the most important question. If he knew who Jesus truly was, he would know his answer.
As we enter the Easter season, let's put this most important question at the forefront of our thoughts. Maybe we can spend time each day, thinking, reading Scriptures, contemplating and worshiping Jesus around this question.
Maybe we can ask others their thoughts about this question. Maybe we can ask our spouses, children, grand children the following questions. Maybe we can ask our friends, co-workers, neighbors and even strangers the following questions.
Who do you think your favorite sports hero thinks Jesus is?
Who do you think your favorite politician thinks Jesus is?
Who do you think your favorite Hollywood actor thinks Jesus is?
Be a student and truly listen to what they have to say.
Then shift the question from what do others think about Jesus to, what do they think about Jesus.
Who do you think Jesus is?
Why do you think that?
Be a loving friend by being a student of their responses to your questions.
Who knows how Jesus will move during these most important conversations?
At least, this Easter season, your family will be thanking you for talking about the most important question every human being must ask and answer. Who is Jesus?
Praying for a wonderful Easter season,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.