Philippians 2:12-18 discusses what it means to be a proactive disciple of Jesus Christ, what motivates disciples, and the key to faithful discipleship. Philippians 2:12-18 Encourages Pro-Active Discipleship Discipleship requires balance. Because on one side it invites...
People avoid talking about Jesus. And that’s too bad. Because Jesus has the meaningful answers we seek. And don’t you naturally talk about someone who provides meaningful answers? Although there are probably many reasons why people avoid talking about Jesus, here are four I’ve observed.
People avoid talking about Jesus because his claims might be true
Jesus claimed to be God in human form. Wow! What a radical idea. God came to earth as an actual person? Was both fully God and man simultaneously?
A seemingly ludicrous and incomprehensible reality. And yet, there it is. Exactly what Jesus claimed among other things.
The religious leaders of his day tried to discredit him and failed. Couldn’t identify even one sin he had committed. Explain the empty tomb 3 days after his death and burial. Or suppress the claims of multiple people who saw him in a resurrected, human body.
And critics can’t disqualify him today either. So they settle for calling him a religious teacher and/or a good man rather than God.
But as C.S. Lewis pointed out in Mere Christianity, a good man would not falsely claim to be God. Such a man would be either a liar or a lunatic.
Which means the third option is still on the table. That Jesus really was God. And if true, it demands serious consideration. And requires a personal decision.
So people just avoid talking about him.
People avoid talking about Jesus because he presents a unifying message
Jesus said we are all sinners. All unrighteous. Equally condemned before God. And ultimately scheduled for judgement before God. It puts us on an even playing field. And unifies us in a common condition.
It should also give us pause on self-righteous name calling, virtue signaling and piling on in moral condemnation. Not to minimize sin or ignore justice. But to acknowledge we are all guilty of moral failure. Fall short of God’s glory. And Jesus, the only one who qualified as perfect, rather than condemn a guilty sinner, offered her grace.
It’s a positive, unifying and life-giving message we should shout at the top of our lungs!
Placing ourselves on higher moral ground than others creates separation. But people who repent of sin and seek reconciliation through Jesus Christ are unified.
And this, in turn, encourages humility, grace and compassion.
Of course, if unity is not your real agenda the best way to shut down the conversation is simply to avoid talking about Jesus.
People avoid talking about Jesus because he demands discipleship
This is where Jesus gets to the heart of the matter. Your heart. He wants to renew, transform and control it. The control part is where people balk.
Sure, Jesus. I’ll take your easy entrance plan into heaven. Make an occasional charitable donation. Attend church every…Christmas and Easter.
But not let you control of my life. Actually follow you. Especially if there’s a cost.
Because real discipleship is more than talk. It’s a daily walk. That may weave along difficult paths. And involve sacrifice. Although it’s a walk with God that is eternally rewarding.
But that all still sounds like quite a commitment. More than most people are ready to accept. So let’s focus our time and attention on other things. And just avoid talking about Jesus.
People avoid talking about Jesus to hide their faith
Peter was that person. I’ve been that person. Because the desire to fit in is strong. To belong. Even be considered cool. Sure. It’s okay to be a religious person. Just not too religious. Because you might be labelled a fanatic. And excluded from certain groups.
Therefore, I downplay my faith in Jesus. Avoid mentioning him as my Savior and Lord. An ordinary, normal looking nice guy. Dudley do right. Not some weird, Jesus freak.
Like Paul the apostle. That’s a guy who really put his faith on display. Openly talked about Jesus at every opportunity.
But not like Peter either. Who followed along the night Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priest’s house. And when asked three times if he was a follower of Jesus, denied it.
To avoid talking about Jesus is just, well, maintaining a low profile. Of course, there will be a final place I want to fit in too. And a moment before I enter when I face Jesus and he speaks up for me.
Surely Jesus won’t hold that silence against me. Will he?
Obviously, talking about Jesus in today’s cultural climate requires discretion and courage. A sense of urgency about sharing his message. And a commitment to obedience over acceptance.
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