Reason #10: Christians Are to Rescue Jesus from “Nice”

Slide 5 of 5

Now, as in the days of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it’s overridingly important to invite, to cajole, to maybe even challenge someone in a humorous way until he or she says, “Okay, I’ll read the Jesus story with you.”

When you sit down to do just that, remember Jesus’ example: Ask them to read a few verses aloud. Then ask them what it means. When you get to something Jesus says or does, ask them what they think of what Jesus just said or did.

Then ask: “Do you think Jesus is just trying to be nice?” This is true even when Jesus is talking one-on-one with Nicodemus (John 3:1-16) and with the Samaritan woman (John 4:7-26).

Of course not. Jesus isn’t simply ‘nice.’ He doesn’t overlook what needs to be tended. That’s the whole point. Simply nice isn’t nice. Nice alone isn’t loving. It isn’t true. It’s the illegitimate child of Romanticism, which turned the meaning of the word on its head.

So, keep asking, “Do you think Jesus is trying to be nice?” until they finally get it. Once we rescue Jesus from “nice,” He becomes real in their eyes. And then His seemingly rude, ruthless ways begin to make sense (see Matthew 15:23-28).

Only then can your neighbor make any sense of Jesus’ life, His teachings, His miracles, His passion, His crucifixion, His burial, His resurrection, His post-resurrection appearances, His ascension, and His current position at God the Father’s right hand.

Reason #11: Jesus Prays You Won’t Just Be “Nice”

Right now, Jesus is praying for you to be anything but “just a nice Christian” (see John 14:16-17).

May His Holy Spirit fill you with unconventional, counterintuitive ways of loving your neighbor (see Acts 1:8, Acts 4:8-12, Acts 4:31, Acts 8:29-40, Acts 13:2-5, and especially Acts 16:6-7, where the Spirit closes several doors before opening an unexpected one!).

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash

David Sanford’s book and Bible projects have been published by Zondervan, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, Doubleday, Barbour, and Amazon. His newest book is Choose Courage: 3-Minute Devotions for Men