When people ask 21st Century Americans what it means to be a Christian, we typically respond with either methodology or by- products. We talk about repentance, faith and commitment. Or we describe the peace and joy that have come into our lives, or brag about having real friends for the first time. Of course, all that is true.
But whenever I read about Jesus Christ in witnessing situations, he always cuts to the chase and gets supernatural really quick! He jolted religious Nicodemus when he talked about being born again! Being a literal kind of guy, Nic at Night wondered, “How am I supposed to get back into my mother’s womb, anyway?” Sure, he was thrown off balance, but face it: he needed a wake up call!
The Samaritan woman lived a decadent life in a religious community. She didn’t expect much from religious types because she’d heard it all before. Then Jesus suggested that if she were to ask, he could give her living water that would quench her thirst forever. The rich young ruler was more than comfortable with his family’s riches. He came to Jesus looking for a little adventure; perhaps a chance to hit the road with this famous rabbi and his rugged disciples. Jesus wasn’t interested in another traveling partner. He advised, “Sell all your possessions, and give the money to the poor. Then you will riches in heaven.” Riches in Heaven? The young man was so flummoxed that he couldn’t even continue this token conversation. He walked away, disappointed but more self aware.
I am convinced that people in my generation need more supernatural truth and less conventional wisdom. They are happy with their friends at work. They can get a buzz from their beer. They believe they can sit down by a lake and find true peace. And all this talk about repenting and trusting sounds like mumbo jumbo to people who don’t understand that they are souls rather than bodies; that life is full of risks and mysteries.
So I’ve become a lot more intentional in the answers I give about faith and Jesus Christ. Christianity is about getting a chance to start life over. It’s about allowing Jesus Christ to take control of my body. It’s about finding the Gates of Heaven today and walking inside. Following Jesus is like driving away from a busy McDonald’s and going instead to a first-class steak restaurant. And after you order everything your heart desire’s, the server comes back and says his boss has covered your check.
When you’re fishing, you have to set the hook before you start reeling. So I give people a sharp, supernatural line they can really bite into. And when they reply, “What? What are you talking about,” I patiently reel them toward the cross.
Lift up the Cross!