As believers living in a secular world, we have an all-important relationship with a very influential man, although the world doesn’t know him at all. This relationship profoundly affects us and how we relate to others, even two thousand years after he walked the earth. Christians have been given the responsibility to demonstrate to the world what kind of a person he is, and spread his influence. In these last days, there is an urgency to introduce lost souls to this man and encourage a life-saving relationship with him.
When we continue the powerful ministry Jesus began, his influence is bound to rub off on us. As children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ, we’re called to the same ministry of service that he performed. Not even Jesus’ earthly parents understood his work (Luke 2:41-50), and many people asked, “Who is this man?” We can expect to face the same level of puzzlement and even hostility from the world, but it’s imperative that we continue to move forward.
Spreading the gospel has a way of attracting attention, and it’s important we don’t let that intimidate us. When Jesus, the son of a carpenter, began his ministry, he was unknown. Even though he was God, he wasn’t afraid to attract attention to himself by humbly serving others. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:5-7). We need to have the same attitude.
People are still talking about what Jesus did, so we’re in good company when they talk about us the same way. They were surprised that he knew so much about the law without any formal training, and some were offended by his boldness (Matthew 13:53-57). Whatever profession or line of work we’re in, we mustn’t let the thought of disapproval from anyone stop us from speaking the word of God to those he puts in front of us. The stakes are too high for us to keep quiet!
The world is full of philosophies and religions that dance around the subject of who Jesus really is, without really telling anyone anything. That’s because none of these belief systems contain the truth about Jesus’ identity. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:10, 11). Knowing about him isn’t the same as truly knowing him. We’ve been commanded to bring Jesus to ordinary, everyday people who don’t know him but desperately need to.
Not everyone will accept Jesus when we make the introductions. Many will reject him, but it’s up to us to give others a chance at this transforming relationship. Everyone is included in his plan and he wants everyone to experience his love and compassion. Whether we present him as “Wonderful,” “Everlasting Father,” “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:11), or by any other name, we need to speak out boldly. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19, 20, NIV).