I Got the Good News Wrong

Sharing the good news is so unnatural. It seems disingenuous and contrary to organic relationship.

“Hi, my name is Mary. Do you trust Jesus?” It’s like asking someone if they’re evil or not. Most people want to run away. Am I a bad Christian?

But wait a minute. When Jesus cast the demons out of the man who couldn’t be chained, he said, “Go tell your friends and family what I’ve done for you.”

When John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask if Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus did not say, “Yeah, I’m God.” He said, “Go tell John what you’ve seen, people being healed and hearing the good news.”

I’ve been confused thinking the good news is simply, “Jesus died on the cross to forgive your sins, and he’s the only way to heaven.” It doesn’t come up in conversation much, and it’s attacking.

“Hey you, evil person, I know someone who can fix you.” Commence running away.

No, the good news is I’m the evil person, depressed, critical, lost, and Jesus saves me everyday. I have a disease, I found a doctor who healed it, and he’s amazing. The good news is humble, personal, and inviting.

“I was insane, possessed by demons, unable to be chained, no one could keep clothes on me, but Jesus healed me and look at me now.” Such a story immediately begs the question, who is this Jesus?

What if the demon possessed man simply went back and said, “Jesus is the Messiah, follow him”? There’s no power. Most people would think he’s still crazy.

I’m gutting the gospel when I try saying, “Hey, we’re all sinners who need a savior. Jesus is the only salvation.” I’m stripping the power of the good news. I sound like I’m reciting a textbook some Sunday school teacher made me memorize.

The good news is a story. Jesus always shared stories. The good news is testimony, like eye-witness testimony in the courtroom. What I’ve seen, what Jesus has done for me is much more powerful than reciting the theological steps to salvation. And who can argue with it? Who can tell me what I experienced didn’t happen?

Stories are organic. At work on Monday, people share stories about the weekend.

“My sister had her baby without any complications! The three previous births had us worried for Nikki’s safety. It was a huge answer to prayer that this was her first perfectly smooth birth.”

I can just brag about God like I would brag about anything that amazes me. I can be a real person and not a textbook. I can share vulnerably first and make others feel more comfortable to do the same. Then it’s organic. Then I can answer questions for interested people, instead of machine gun firing Christianese and hoping I hit a few targets.

Jesus talked to people who wanted to listen, and told his disciples to leave when they weren’t wanted.


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