Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to encounter Jesus face to face as he mixed with the people in the towns, on the roads, or in the marketplace? What were the attractive qualities that caused men to leave their jobs and families to follow him? Consider the casual contact such as his meeting of the Samarian woman at the well. When he looked into her eyes did she feel love penetrate her soul? What about this man that would cause someone to believe that if they could only touch his coat that they would be healed? What was it about Jesus that drew thousands of people to hear him? When Christ walked into a room of strangers, what presence did he bring? What are the attractive qualities that would draw people close to Him and how can we model these in our families, workplace and in our communities?
When I was in college I worked at Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Missouri. I had the privilege of growing up under and later working for and watching the Director, Joe White lead, teach, discipline, and personally love hundreds of kids, young college men and women. I recall clearly the image of Joe with his hands on a young man’s shoulders with squinted eyes, chewing on his lower lip, and looking him square in the eye balls. Joe intently listened and instructed with authority and a deep love. Joe has an unbelievable ministry that impacts millions of people around the world. It has never been about lifting up Joe White, but about Joe earnestly seeking to model and reflect the love of Jesus to others.
There are many characteristics of Jesus, Joe White, and the many people that you know that we can model. As I consider the many qualities of Jesus that attracted men, women and children, two qualities stick out that permeated everything about him. He spoke absolute Truth. In the words of Truth the spirit of genuine love poured forth to all that heard. In Matthew 5:13-14 we are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. How can we, as individuals, model those characteristics of Jesus so that others recognize a genuine and attractive difference in our lives and realize it is the Truth and Love of Jesus that is attractive. To see a picture of this in action, check out this video about a coach who chose to be different, expressed the love of Jesus to a group of teenage criminals, and changed their lives. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52AOPQvCTv4&feature=related
As leaders in your family and community what can you do to be salt so that others will see the light and come to know the love that Jesus has for them?
I John 4:9 – “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”