Our congregation’s Men’s ministry just spent the past two months journeying through a study call the “Barefoot Church.” One of the initial stories is of a man who was on the side of the road with a flat tire. As he was getting the jack and tire iron out of the trunk a car pulled up and a person got out to see if he could help. This second man held a Bible and began to share the Good News of the Bible with the broken down car driver.
The man with the Bible told him of his need for a savior, but the man with the flat wasn’t interested in a savior at the moment. He was interested in help for his tire. The Christian did not stop to help with the pressing need, but was focused on the eternal need. While he was speaking about Good News it wasn’t connecting because it didn’t fit the situation. He wasn’t BEING Good News to the driver.
We don’t want to just talk about Jesus. We want to actually embody the Good News. If we pay attention to the Gospels we’ll recognize that Jesus met specific needs with specific remedies. To the sick Jesus offered Good News of healing. To the poor he offered Good News of food and drink. To the demon possessed He offered Good News of freedom. Jesus didn’t feed the sick or cleanse the prisoners. He fed the hungry and cleansed the lepers. The Good News that Jesus embodied matched directly with the needs at hand.
The problem with the Christian holding the Bible on the side of the road wasn’t that He was holding the Bible, but that he didn’t put down the Bible long enough to pick up the tire iron and loosen a couple of lug nuts. There will be plenty of time to talk about Jesus when someone believes that you carry Good News. First make sure that your Good News matches their needs.
As you live life this week pay attention to the needs of people around you, and be Good News to them. Eventually you’ll get to open the Bible and talk Jesus, but first you need to be seen as a carrier of Good News. Good News that fits a real need.