(Editor’s note: This is the 8th post in a series called “A Journey of Evangelism in Scripture,” where we travel from Genesis through Revelation to look into the intersection of evangelism at various points of time.)
- I don’t care about Him.
- He was a good teacher and/or prophet and He issued some good (albeit perhaps impossibly hard) teachings for people to aspire to.
- His claims were fantastic and couldn’t possibly be true so He must have been delusional.
- He was who He said He was—the perfect, sinless Son of God.
For those who buy into the last option, there is a pressing burden to help people in the other three camps see that all Jesus claimed about Himself while He lived on earth was indeed true. Make no mistake: Jesus appears to have been completely lucid and reasonable in the conversations He had with other people. He wanted (and still wants) to be more than just a teacher in the hearts of people in every nation on earth. Plus, He certainly cared (cares) about every individual who has walked, is walking, or will walk the earth.
If He lived a life fully devoted to the idea that He was who He claimed to be and He wants everyone who now believes those claims to also spread that news with assurance, how are we to share His life in a way that is both full of truth but also non-threatening enough that others will readily listen?
Let’s go about this by talking about a topic so many people seem to be interested in: money.
Jesus had a lot to say about money, but today I’m writing about a bit of a broader concept. I’m not much of a risk-taker, so I usually like to invest my money in “safe” ways. A few years ago, I tried saving money via CDs at a local bank. I deposited a large amount of money, giving up my right to it for many months. The benefit was that if I allowed the CD to reach maturity and did not withdraw the money early, my deposit earned a much higher amount of interest compared to what it would have earned sitting in a regular savings account for that same amount of time.
As I recently reviewed both the life and teachings of Christ and also the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians, I noticed a powerful and encouraging string of related items. Jesus was God in flesh; in essence, He was a version of God’s glory deposited in human flesh, maturing until the time when He would fulfill His earthly mission and die for us. When this magnificent gift sewn in skin was opened, poured out, and redeemed, the return on the investment was not just good—it was earth-shatteringly awesome.
Likewise, when we accept the good news of what Jesus has done for us and receive the gift of new life, God instills the seed of His Spirit in our hearts, a sort of CD with the promise of the amazing treasure which will pour forth when that deposit reaches full maturity—and hints of how wonderfully new we are becoming as we journey along the way.
The thought of it renews my awe of Jesus all over again and fills my heart with both humility and a great joy that’s worth sharing. Ironically, God has recently increased my number of acquaintances who are interested in finance, banking, business, and similar fields. It may seem simplistic, but I think I’ve found a refreshing way to plant gospel seeds in their hearts.
God put His deposit in the best of examples—an extension of Him—and when we accept that example as more than just a “good teacher,” our lives are transformed so that they become receptacles of God’s fabulous deposit as well. If the promise of this fulfilled guarantee is true, who would want to walk away from such a deal? And who would be able to refrain from spreading the word of it to others?
[Note: This illustration was inspired by numerous scripture, but especially the following:
- Mark 1:9-11; Luke 9:34-35; John 10:7-18, 22-38; John 11:41-42; John 14:15-21; John 17:1-5
- 2 Corinthians 1:9, 21; 2:14-16; 3:6, 17; 4:6-7; 5:21]
Lucia (pseudonym) has been pouring light, love, and truth into the lives of Atheist and Muslim friends in Asia for more than a decade.