Can you imagine the scene if Jesus would have arrived in today’s world?
An international media frenzy would gather at the shores of Lake Galilee waiting for Jesus and his band of follower to come ashore. Microphones thrust in his face, the reporters would shout out questions about his rumored miracles, his claims to be a king, his purported lineage to be the Messiah.
Large sums of money would be negotiated for an exclusive interview.
If I owned a PR firm, having Jesus as a client would be my biggest coup. What would I tell him to do?
Perhaps I would tell him to listen to his brother’s advice. They said,
“You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” (John 7:3-4)
In the age of building platforms and establishing a person brand, the brother’s advice is sound. If you want to get noticed in a noisy world then make outrageous claims about yourself, carry out a miracle before a live studio audience, and make scheduled appearances with political leaders and celebrity rock musicians.
Celebrity status. Political clout. He would probably receive millions of friends on Facebook and set a record for most Twitter followers in one day.
Jesus Christ in today’s world would become the ultimate buzz… but then again, the buzz hasn’t stopped for the past two thousand years.
A celebrity means becoming a person the world wants to see.
In Jesus’ case, becoming a Messiah meant being a crowned hero to feed the masses and save his people from political oppression. That’s how people win the Nobel peace prize.
But Jesus did not come into this world to start a political movement nor stir the masses to stand up to social injustice, nor win the Nobel peace prize. He came to save the world.
“So, Peter,” he asked one of his most trusted disciples, “Who do you say I am.” “You are the Christ,” Peter answered, “the promised Son of God.”
How does a Messiah save the world? The world looks for heroes to create a heaven on earth. They cast a Savior in their own image, not of God’s. But Jesus brings a different answer. In a world hopelessly corrupted by sin, Jesus came to save people from themselves.
It’s a message that most do not want to hear. “For even his own brothers did not believe him.” (v. 5)
Like the thousands who departed disappointed when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was promptly arrested, people don’t want to be associated with a perceived loser. Upon not listening to their advice, the PR firm would have dropped him. He probably would have received the most “unfollows” ever recorded on Twitter.
If you really wanted to impact today’s world, Jesus, then….
You would suffer and die on the cross to be our substitute. Which he did for us. To save us from our sins and be declared fully forgiven and righteous and receive entrance into a new heaven and a new earth. That’s what God promised through the Messiah.
It’s not a PR stunt, but a simple message of truth.