First thought when you see the picture to the left? I took that picture on June 26th at 5:30AM. If you drove past me on the road, what would you think? Soon after I took that picture, a cop stopped me. It was my neighbor, he stopped just to talk. I had taken off the ski mask at that point but made a point to show it to him. I explained why I was wearing it and he said: “Ya, I totally would have stopped and questioned you.”
So what would be your first thought? Robber. If you passed me on the road in the middle of summer wearing that, you’d think I was crazy and/or that I was a robber. Truth is, I am a pastor. Every morning I walk to the bay by my house and pray. As I get closer to the bay there is a stretch of woods mixed with marsh. It is insanely buggy. Like those giant bugs that annoyingly bite you. I now have one of those cool safari hats with a netting that drops down. However, it took two days with Amazon Prime sooooo, for two days I wore a mask and goggles. I felt weird because I knew what people would assume. I knew what they would assume would be reasonable. I also knew they were wrong and that I had a perfectly good reason to wear it. They would be reasonably wrong about me.
This thought really struck me recently in a sermon I preached in Luke 7. Jesus comes to a small town and bumps into a funeral procession at the main gate. A man died leaving behind his widowed mother. He was her only son, and her husband had previously died. Jesus had compassion over the situation and raised the son back to life. This town, Nain, although small had experienced this type of thing in the past. Elijah and Elisha, prophets in the Old Testament had raised people to life in this region (arguably this town). They were familiar. And so it is no wonder that they say this about Jesus:
“Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” Luke 7:16
Given their history, it was a very reasonable thing to say. You’d think in a religious sense being called a prophet is a great honor. On some level it is. But if you’re the Son of God who’s come to save mankind from their sin, there is only ONE fitting title; LORD.
A mere prophet could not do what Jesus was going to do for their sins. Nice title, but woefully falls short. Jesus is Lord of all or He’s not Lord at all.
Why do you believe what you believe? What title would you give Jesus? It is possible to give Jesus a ‘reasonable’ title, but it is also possible to be reasonably wrong. So what should you do? How can you ensure what you think of Jesus is accurate? You go to the source! Isn’t that what you do when you get a request on social media from someone you’re already friends with? This seems like you. It looks like you. It sounds like you. Very reasonably this is you. So shoot a text with a screenshot and say, “Yo, is this you?” Then you trust the response. Get an email from me asking for money and you know what you should do, QUESTION IT. I never email people asking for money. You bring your questions to the source and verify it.
The townspeople in Nain never went to the source. They never questioned their conclusion about Jesus. They made a reasonable assumption. The assumption was wrong. They were reasonably wrong. You have your thoughts about Jesus. GO TO JESUS FOR VERIFICATION. Do you know people who have actually read His words (not just a Google search)? Ask them. Go to the source and pray, “God I just happened upon this random blog post, it has me thinking that there may be more to you than I originally thought, is there? Jesus, are you the Son of God? What does that mean? Help me in my confusion.” I have complete faith that God will meet you in that place.
For those reading this that already know this truth, you know Jesus is who He says He is; the Son of God. You’ve searched, you’ve examined, you went to the source, and you have placed faith in Jesus. Great. How is love one love all going? Are you loving people well enough to get them to question their unbelief or misguided belief? Isn’t that the point? We love people well. We love people with a message “God loves you and so do we.” Do you know what is on the back of that card? A website. Know what the website is? www.thewhy.one. We hope that our love for people makes them ask WHY. Why are you doing this? As they consider all this, the hope is that they would continue to question their presuppositions about Jesus. Our love for people should cause them to ask questions they maybe have never asked before. As they start asking the right questions, I’m confident they will find the real Jesus. Jesus is the truth so seeking truth will always lead us to Jesus. If it doesn’t, there is a lie somewhere along the way.
So, go to the source. Seek truth. Ask the right questions. And if you know, love people along their spiritual journey towards Jesus. May your love for others guide them to the TRUTH; JESUS!
Keep praying for ONE and keep attacking LOVE ONE LOVE ALL!
Written by Pastor Jason Coache,
Lead Pastor of Wellspring Church