“And now–the Jesus Christ show!”
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, something happens to shake your complacency! It happened to me when, a few weeks ago, I tuned in on a Sunday morning to radio station KFI AM 640 and heard the phrase that heads this column.
“And now…here’s Jesus!” announced the presenter of this program. At this point someone who proclaimed himself as Jesus Christ the Son of God took over and–after introducing his topic–started to take calls from listeners.
It felt uncomfortable, to say the least, hearing the spoken voice of someone actually claiming to be Christ interpreting God’s Word. The voice was speaking in English, although one expected an ancient Middle Eastern dialect (not that I would be able to detect the difference between Aramaic or any other such tongue), yet–on reflection and since we believe that God understands prayers couched in any language or dialect–why should we be surprised if he were to speak in our native tongue?
But it was disturbing to hear, “If you would like to e-mail the Lamb of God…” and, “Phone 1-800-520… etc.” to speak to Jesus. More disturbing one week, to hear another voice say, “I’m filling in for Jesus… He’s taking a Sabbath off!”
Further nagging feelings of discomfort. Why?
It is certainly a novel approach to presenting Scripture, even though the interpretation is from one human’s perspective. The interesting thing, too, is that many of the callers are either disillusioned former church attendees, or people who sense their spirituality yet see no need for church in their response to it. “Will…” asked one man recently, “I get into heaven even though I don’t attend church, see no need to, and yet am certain I have God in my heart?” It’s a good question and one that many a churchgoer might gag over if this were asked during a face-to-face presentation of the Gospel.
Yet it is amazing how many “searchers after truth” feel comfortable asking such questions through this kind of radio “encounter” with someone they feel to be–if not Christ himself–then certainly a reliable human mouthpiece for him.
Again, why the nagging discomfort with this program? Is it because I know that it is not really Christ speaking? How can I be sure of that since Christ does speak through the agency of others? Is it because this radio “Christ” does not clarify that he is attempting to interpret God’s words “as if” he were Christ, yet not actually being Christ? Yet, in a sense, are we not all supposed to represent Christ to the world…when we accept him as Lord and Savior, and he–through his Spirit–dwells within us? And does he not expect us to share his revelation to us with others?
I wonder if the discomfort is because that radio voice is possibly doing more than I am in sharing Christ with the otherwise “lost”?
I have seen and heard Jesus in and through others a few times in my life. Recently, Paul passed to his heavenly reward. Paul was a young colleague in my department at the UK territorial headquarters. He had battled cancer a few years prior and was not ignorant of the fact that it could strike again. That knowledge did not stop him from doing the best with the energy he had…even to the extent of running the London Marathon to raise money for Army ministry. Paul had a brilliant mind, was an incredible artist, used his enormous sense of humor to cheer us up in our “down” days. He was gentle and kind, humble, generous…he was–to me–Christ on earth. His impact has changed and will continue to influence my life. He leaves a beautiful wife who supported Paul to the hilt, and a young family who are a credit to them both. I could see Jesus in Paul.
Can others see Jesus in me? Can they see Jesus in you?
I hope and pray so, else how will the world know of Jesus?