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25 June 2008

Jesus' Business Cards

Yesterday at the office I was looking at a business card design with one of our administrative assistants. Knowing that I'm pretty big on Jesus, she taunted, "Would Jesus have business cards?" I replied, "He used miracles. I need business cards."

"Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2, NLT)

The question "What would Jesus do?" as most of you are probably well aware, was asked in the 1896 book In His Steps, written by Charles M. Sheldon. Also from antiquity, I touched on this subject in November 2007. Having been raised in church culture, I've seen the question's popularity cyclically wane and then find resurgence every few years. I'm just part of another generation that's finding that it's a really important question to ask.

The "gotcha" of the question, of course, lies in its answers -- and in the fact that many people have no clue what Jesus would do in a given situation. I've heard people use it in an effort to excuse themselves from potential wrongdoing: "Jesus was perfect, but I'm just a normal man." Sometimes people answer it by saying, "I don't think that Jesus would..." and as noted above, they don't really have much of an idea what He would have done.

But it's awful when people do it in reverse -- taking an action and then plugging in a fictitious "Jesus" to justify it. The most potentially destructive cases of this may be when Christ-followers offend non-believers and then claim, "Jesus had an offensive message." Well, no, that's not quite right... Jesus didn't have an offensive message unless he was talking to church leaders. He had a tough (but not offensive) message otherwise: "Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it." (Matthew 16:24-25, NLT)


Ninfa said...

Good thoughts Dean!

You know, when Jesus was at the well with the Samaritan woman and he made it known he was the Messiah she didn't say, "No way, really? Do you have some way of proving that? Can I see your ID?" She knew it was true because of the truth Jesus had spoken to her in love. Jesus was known by many. Some loved him and some hated him. Some wanted his help and some wanted his power. Some just wanted to get close enough to touch the hem of his garment. No, Jesus did not need a business card for people to know who he was. His love toward others was evident in all he did. Whether it was healing the sick, or cripple, feeding the hungry, calming the storms, raising the dead, speaking the truth, teaching the people, taking on our sin, dying on a cross, rising again, it was ALL done with a loving heart.

Now in this day and age Christ lives in us, his believers. I might need a business card to tell some one what I do for a living, but do I need a business card so that someone will know I am a Christian. Is it evident in the things I do and the way I live my life? Those who witnessed Jesus in action 2000 years ago were no different than you and me. When they saw something amazing that he did or heard him say something life changing they wanted to tell others. Word of mouth spread and people wanted to know more. They would climb trees and flock to buildings and hill sides to see this Jesus. All they would go through just to catch a glimpse of him. Do we have that same passion to share that they had? Are people flocking to us to get a glimpse of Christ because it is so apparent his is in us? Or do we need a print shop to start printing up cards?

Leroy said...

Rock on Ninfa!!! What a great commentary IMHO!

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