Who do you think Jesus is? Before reading any further, I wonder how you would answer that yourself? I mean, if someone just walked up to you and asked you that, what would you say? Would you be ready to give an answer?
At the heart of the Gospel, is Jesus Christ. I wonder how many conversations you’ve had with people where you talk about ‘my faith’ or ‘our church’ or ‘God’s love’ or ‘being religious’? The thing is, the Bible talks about Jesus.
Faith, church, religion – even God – they’re all such nebulous concepts. They mean such radically different things to different people that you might be using the same word, but talking about something completely different.
But when Jesus arrived, He defined all these things – indeed, He defined life itself. In the New Testament, Paul opens his letters talking about God as ‘the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’. God is defined by Jesus. Jesus told that to Philip too, as we read in John 14:9 – ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’.
Across the many projects in Scotland and beyond, amidst the churches that run or partner them, we think that Jesus is good news.
Go For It Committee
Mark 1:1 introduces not the Gospel about faith, church, religion or God, but rather ‘… the Gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God’. And in Mark 8:29, Jesus asks the question that I want to suggest we start asking: ‘But what about you? Who do you say I am’?
One of the criteria that Go For It looks for in funding projects is ‘nurturing Christian faith within and beyond the church’. That’s Christian faith. Faith in Christ. And what I’ve discovered in recent months is that there’s no better way to do that, than to ask one simple question of people in six simple words: ‘Who do you think Jesus is’?
Across the many projects in Scotland and beyond, amidst the churches that run or partner them, we think that Jesus is good news. He is good news because He sets people free. From fear. Hopelessness. Hell. Poverty. Sickness. Despair. Judgement. Guilt. Addiction. Loneliness. And above all, sin and death.
But before we tell people what we think (and let’s pray that they ask us, because we’ve got good news to tell, don’t we?) – why don’t we start by asking people what they think about who Jesus is? We don’t need to invite them to church on Sunday to do it. We can just … ask them.
In conversation, as we build relationships in our projects, we can just ask: ‘Tell me something … who do you think Jesus is’? In the workshop, the cafe, the foodbank, the drop in, the clinic, the mums and toddlers groups, the street work; between conversations about the weather and about how we’re really doing.
When I’ve asked people this question, I’ve been surprised, saddened, thrilled and motivated. They have always looked like they’re going to think about it some more. In everything else that you’re doing in your project, why not give people the chance to do that? It’s only six words, but they can change lives and communities – ‘Who do you think Jesus is’?
About the Author
Rev Scott McRoberts is minister at Inverness: St. Columba (New Charge Development) and a co-opted Committee member of the Church of Scotland’s Go For It Fund. Inverness: St. Columba are using a Go For It Main Grant to decrease isolation among parents of young children, through their Connections project.
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