Naming Jesus

Rick Mattson Evangelism 9 Comments

Albertinelli’s Holy Trinity, c. 1510
Florence, Italy

I met John at a golf tournament, and at some point in our four-hour tour of 18 holes together, we talked religion.

This always happens. I bring it up in one form or another by mentioning church, prayer, hymns, Bible, religion in the media, etc.

On the 7th hole he asked what I do for work.

The easy reply is that I’m a “traveling speaker and trainer in our organization’s outreach to college students.”

But I’ve left such neutral answers behind. Instead, I said what I now usually say:

“I travel to campuses around the country . . . we tell college students about Jesus.”

Oh! SO offensive . . .

Actually, not. I’m a nice guy who smiles a lot and likes to joke around with people (especially about religion), which tends to soften the conversation.

In any case, I no longer care what they think. Being a follower of Jesus is my core identity, and even secular thought these days compels people to inform everyone of their identity.

It’s also biblical: “I’m a follower of Jesus” is a simple and clear expression of personal allegiance.

On a contrary note, Jesus said that if anyone is ashamed of him and his words, he will be ashamed of them when he returns.*

* * *

I aspire to be a person who’s not forced into shame and silence by a mixed up culture that affirms “identity” but often opposes Christianity. Bowing to such pressure is surely not the way of the cross.

Better to just put it out there. Publicly identifying with Jesus may sacrifice approval from the world but, in my view, is approved of God.

*Luke 9:26

* * *

I’ve written a short book that tells the stories of ten people and how they found faith. It’s called Faith Unexpected. Perfect to give to a friend.

See also this post about what happens when we fail to name the name of Jesus.

Comments 9

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  1. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel”
    – bc I learned how to not be from you:)
    (And Jim, Gretchen, Steph and others…)

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  2. “Better to just put it out there!” Amen to that! I landed in a similar place last night in teaching the Covenant of circumcision by asking if we are willing to look and sound different – to “shine like stars in a crooked generation” – in a world that is silencing truth at every turn.
    I like how you roll, Rick!

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