So over the last few weeks I’ve had the awesome privilege of taking four groups of young people (approx. 25 in each group) through an Exploring Christianity course. We’ve simply been looking at what the Bible says about Jesus.
So we explored the question: What kind of people are hanging out with Jesus? (Mark 2:15) and discovered that:
Many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
In other words – people were attracted to Jesus – and often it wasn’t religious people. It was real people with real problems.
What about today? What do people make of Jesus today?
I thought the young people’s comments were spot on – they commented on the fact that most people, when it comes to Jesus are “disinterested” and “don’t believe.” In other words, Jesus is past his sell-by-date. Locally, generally speaking, there is a perception that church is where people go who are still interested in Jesus – and those who are interested tend to be “religious” people – not every day people.
I wonder – what has the church done to Jesus? Why is there no magnetism? Why are people no longer drawn to the one who drew the crowds? Has the church tamed Jesus? Have they diluted the presentation of the message to the point where it no longer packs a punch?
Of course, this is not the whole story. If we think globally – we see that Jesus is still gaining ground. Post-Christian Scotland may be limping along, but globally, Jesus still seems to be doing his thing. People are still coming to him.
These are just three examples of people who still found themselves drawn to Jesus. Although one of these men recently died, the power of his story is still recent enough and relevant.
This video is a video I’ve used for years. The artist has re-written an Eminem song and used it to tell his story of how God rescued him. There are some weaknesses in the song – for example there are some unbiblical concepts such as Dominion Theology, Positive Confession and Decisionalism – but there is also the undeniable testimony to the work of Christ in his life. This is a useful demonstration of the kind of people who are being drawn to Jesus today.
The second example, is the testimony of the late Steve Hill. Steve Hill who went on to become an AoG evangelist. Again, theology of the AoG aside, Steve Hill is a relevant demonstration of the kind of transformation that the gospel can bring.
The third example is the testimony of Bono from U2. Whilst his testimony does not have the “I came to Christ from Chaos” element – it does contain the heart of the matter – a clear profession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Why would a celebrity Rock Star believe a 2000 year old claim about Jesus Christ? Watch and see for yourself.
These are only three examples – and they are narrow examples – they do not include the testimony of the Chinese, African, Jewish or Korean Christians. This is just a snap shot – but it is an important snap shot as it reminds us that people are still looking to Jesus – and lives are still being impacted by Jesus.