Dr. Charles Revis, Executive Minister, ABC of the Northwest
One of our solid pastors has been criticized for making this public statement, "We want to make Jesus famous in our city."
Should we attempt to make Jesus famous? My response would be, "Can you imagine doing the opposite? Hiding Jesus from a lost world?" Of course we are to make Jesus famous. We are to publish His name in all the earth. The Bible expects this to be our number one job. We are to proclaim from the rooftops, "Jesus is the Lord, the Savior of humankind." We are to lift Him up so that all will know his wonderful grace and love.
Habakkuk prayed, "Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord." (3:2).
Paul, in his incarnational hymn of praise writes, "Therefore God exalted Jesus to the highest place...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." (Phil 2:9-11) That's just a little bit famous.
Our culture is obsessed with worshipping the "famous ones" of Hollywood and pop music stardom. Many, at this very moment, are grieving the death of one who proclaimed himself the "King of Pop."
In the midst of this misdirected obsession is it not right and proper to lift up the name of the True King? And, make Him more widely known than any of the pretenders who display only a fading glory. His is the glory that will shine for ever. Why not get a head start on worshipping the One who has everlasting glory? Why not make Him the truly "Famous One" in all the earth?
Of course, we want people to move beyond knowing about Jesus to personally encountering Him as God, and as Savior, and as Lord. That goes without saying. But for some people you have to fill in the lines so they can see the full picture, which is impossible to do when the real issue is not the presenting issue.
Perhaps the objection is rooted in a misunderstanding, that we are to avoid recasting Scriptural principles in the vernacular of our culture. No doubt there is always a danger of miscommunication when we attempt to employ contemporary cultural idioms. Yet, there is a greater danger if we do not. And that is to fail to communicate to this generation at all. It seems to me it's well worth the risk to employ popular language and concepts to convey biblical truth, which is exactly what the pastor was attempting to do. The beloved paraphrase of the Scriptures, The Message by Eugene Peterson, attempts this very thing, and in spades! And, I would add, with great success.
This is a lengthy way to say that I agree with the pastor. Let's make Jesus famous! In all the Northwest! In all the world! I can't think of a greater calling than this one thing!
I'll close this long posting with words from a "famous" modern hymn:
You are the Lord
The famous one, famous one
Great is Your name in all the earth
The heavens declare
You're glorious, glorious
Great is Your fame beyond the earth
For all You've done and yet to do
With every breath I'm praising You
Desire of the nations and every heart
You alone are God
2009 © Dr. Charles Revis, ABC Northwest
[This article is from Dr. Revis’ blog, www.missionnorthwest.blogspot.com]