I get the opportunity somewhat regularly to write a "Pastor's Perspective" in one of our local newspapers here in northern Michigan. When this happens, the editor of that section of the paper calls me and gives me a question to answer. He then interviews other people in the community and publishes their perspectives as well. Today's edition was one of those opportunities. The questions was, "What gives us our credibility when we talk about Jesus?" Below is my perspective:
In Act 1:8, followers of Jesus are commanded by the Lord to be His “witnesses.” In other words, we are to talk to others about Jesus. But what gives us the credibility to do so? To answer that question, simply look at who Jesus was talking to when He originally gave this command. He was talking to His disciples and a few other followers right before He ascended back into heaven. What gave them the credibility to do what Jesus said?
It wasn’t their perfection! Not one of them was perfect. Even the most prominent of Jesus’ followers, Peter, had denied His Lord three times just a few weeks earlier. Living perfect lives does not give us credibility to talk to people about Jesus.
It wasn’t their education! They were untrained and ignorant when it came to religion. Many of them were simple fishermen. One of them was even a former tax collector. There wasn’t a theology degree in the bunch. Education does not give us credibility to talk to people about Jesus.
It wasn’t their popularity! Jesus was popular up to a point…but then the people turned on Him and cried out for His crucifixion. These followers of Jesus were not widely known. People weren’t clamoring to become their friend. Our popularity does not give us credibility to talk to people about Jesus!
If it wasn’t their perfection, their education or their popularity that gave them the credibility, then what did? It was the simple fact that their lives had been changed because they had spent time with Jesus. That’s where the credibility comes from. These men and women had gotten to know Jesus and believed the truth of who He was – the Messiah. As a result, they were not the same. They weren’t perfect. They didn’t know it all. They didn’t have a big following, but no one could refute the fact that their lives had been changed after being with Jesus.
You may not be perfect (none of us are!). You may not have a theology degree. The world may not have a clue who you even are. But if your life has been changed because of your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you have all the credibility you need to talk about Jesus to others!