The man rushed out of his Brooklyn office with his team to catch a cab. In their haste they inadvertently knocked over a small produce stand. No-one paid any notice, but he felt he had to stop and put this right. He told his team to carry on without him. As he came back to help put things back he noticed that the woman was blind and was standing there with tears streaming down her face. He sorted out the fruit as best he could and pressed some money into her hands saying that this should cover what was damaged.
As he turned to walk away, she called out to him, “Mister, are you Jesus?” “No,” he replied, somewhat surprised. Then she said, “It’s just that when I heard my fruit falling all over the sidewalk I asked Jesus to help.” The man couldn’t get this thought out of his head, “when was the last time someone confused you with Jesus?” (Adapted from ‘Rediscover Jesus’ by Matthew Kelly)
In a way that thought might seem heretical. There is only one Jesus. Surely we want to point people to Him, not ‘be’ Jesus to them. But we are Christians. That means little Christs’. When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven He had only one plan, Plan A. There were no Plans B or C. Plan A was that we would be His disciples, and be Jesus to everyone we meet in word and deed. Through the power of Holy Spirit, we would be used by God to set the captives free. In doing so, we would be Jesus to them, while pointing to Him as the one who guides and empowers us. As disciples, we are now the rescuers, going out into the world with Christ’s power behind us, to deliver humanity from death.
As I write this, I am thinking and struggling to remember when was the last time someone confused me with Jesus. So, how can I be Jesus, even if no-one actually asks me if I am Jesus? Here are three simple ways, although I’m sure you can think of others.
1) Speaking like Jesus. We might not realise it, but people are listening to us. They hear the words we use with others, and how we say them. For better or worse, non-believers will judge us, or the Christ we represent, by what we say to others, but also, what we say about others.
2) Seeing Jesus in us. Even if we never get the chance to be heard by others, our actions speak a lot louder than our words. What we do is more important than what we say. Why? Because words are often cheap. The really hard part is doing, and what we do for others can tell people a lot about Christ without using any words at all. Often they can be the simplest things that cost little in terms of time or money, but mean a lot to the recipient.
3) Loving others as Jesus loves us. Unconditional love. Not giving up on others. When we show care and compassion to those the world things less of, we’re showing the love of God, because His love is not based on their performance, but solely on who Jesus is.
Today, and every day, let each one of us try and be Jesus to the people we meet. He expects nothing less.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to be You to the people I meet today and every day. By the words I use, the things I do, and the way I show Your love to others, may You be glorified. Amen.
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