Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jesus as PR Man (He didn't read 'How to Win Friends & Influence People')

Why? I asked as I read the Gospel stories. In some ways Jesus made things hard for Himself. Those who had read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People would probably point our five serious mistakes He made:

First, He did not go directly and ministered to the upper-class members of Jewish society. Second, He wasted time by going to the lower-class (even the low-of-the-lowest-class) and calling on the poor, the sick, the tax collectors, shepherds, the fishermen, and the most obvious sinners in Jerusalem. Third, He didn’t try to talk people into supporting His messiahship. He didn’t use sales or insurance marketing strategy, make no glorious promises. Fourth, He almost ignored those in leadership. And to make thing worst, at times it seemed He went out His way to confront them. Lastly, He refused to compromise. He won’t give up His theology and integrity even to pull some strings in His ministry to get benefits, endorsements and political favors.

P.s: Had there been a Jerusalem Idol in the first century, trying to choose the most successful and influence preacher, not many people would vote for Jesus. In the end He didn’t have a lot of popular appeal.

Unlike Jesus, we stake so much of having a good reputation, being appreciated, gathered as many awards and best-selling lists, major in entertainment worship to win youths, misquoting and ignoring some part of the Scripture for the sake of being relevant, compromise Biblical theology in order to achieve unity over the truth, etc. In all of these, Jesus has nothing to do with it. Jesus stood alone.

Jesus didn’t come to win supports. He did the Kingdom agenda whether or not anyone supported Him. In The Book of John, Jesus spoke strongly to would-be followers and let them know what it meant to follow Him. “Because of this, many of Jesus’ followers turned back and would not go with him anymore. So he asked the twelve disciples, ‘And you – would you also like to leave?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God.’” (John 6:66-69, GNB).

The diehards stayed, everyone left. The disciples stayed no one else left. But, I wonder, what if ALL of them had left? What would Jesus have done? I think, the Lord Jesus in His humanity would still obediently continue His ministry. He had come to save humankind, with or without human support. His chief ministry was to die on the cross to win God’s favor, not to win human support. He is the model of leadership, obedience and love-in-action, not as good PR Man. Follow Him and you’ll be unpopular (at least for the most part – to the world). But follow Him and you’ll have eternal life.

Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life”
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