Let’s say Jesus was here today. That he started His earthly ministry in 2015. Let’s assume he had to have a car to travel to places. Maybe a Prius. Heck, maybe he’d have a Hummer. Who knows? Maybe an AMC Gremlin. That might be an important topic of debate.
Bumper stickers say a lot about us. What political stance we take. How we feel about the sanctity of life. How the incumbent president doesn’t reflect our current ideals. How we root for one sports team or another. And about how we support or oppose certain social issues. Bumper stickers say a lot about us to the world and the people driving around us.
I understand that in writing this, I’m taking artistic freedom and a lot of liberty. But please humor me for a second.
Let’s look first at the people who claim to follow Christ. We can find all kinds of bumper stickers that proclaim their belief system.
Here’s a few: “Conservative: Because Everyone Can’t Be a Freeloader“; “CoExist? Okay Lefty, You First“; “It’s a Child, Not a Choice“; “Jesus Was a Conservative“; “Blacks didn’t choose slavery, Jews didn’t choose genocide, Babies don’t choose abortion“; “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God then we will be a nation gone under“; “One man plus one woman equals marriage.”
What if Jesus was conducting His earthly ministry and he drove a car? Would he feel the need to put bumper stickers on it? Would he feel the same need that many conservative Christians do today to voice some pretty strong opinions on a ten world flash on their bumper?
That’s a spattering of bumper stickers on the cars of Christian conservatives across the country. I want to make it clear that in this post I’m not arguing for or against the bumper stickers above. And this post isn’t about religous/social issues, per se.
I need to make this very clear – most conservative Christians don’t have bumper stickers proclaiming the message of their morality.
I also don’t want it to come across that I have a problem with free speech through bumper stickers. I do not. If you have convictions about your ideals and you want to advertize them and you feel a good way to do it is through a sticker on your car, go for it. Knock yourself out. More power to you.
My point is today is this – what if Jesus was conducting His earthly ministry and he drove a car? Would he feel the need to put bumper stickers on it? Would he feel the same need that many conservative Christians do today to voice some pretty strong opinions on a ten world flash on their bumper?
I honestly don’t know. I’d like to hear your opinion.
I’d like to think that Jesus would see His car as a necessary means to get from one point to another to share the good news.
I’m not saying Jesus didn’t have strong opinions. He certainly did. He did finally get tired of the Pharisees. In Matthew 23, he pronounced a series of judgments on them, calling them “whitewashed tombs” – they were beautiful on the outside but on the inside, they were just dead man’s bones.
Would Jesus then put a bumper sticker on his AMC Gremlin that said, “Pharisee Conspiracy Around Us“?
Jesus spent most of his time loving and showing grace to those who were neglected in this life. The crippled, lame, mourning, destitute, demon ridden, and outcast. His main objective was to show grace and present the gospel to a world that needed to hear it.
In our day, people like to say Jesus had a position on gay marriage, the government, interracial marriage, whether we should have certain instruments in church and whether we should be wealthy.
Those people want to stick bumper stickers on Jesus’ ride. Whether He wants them there or not.
I’m not saying that other parts of Scripture deals with some of those issues. But I like to think that if Jesus were riding around in His AMC Gremlin, He’d only have one bumper sticker:
“Seek and save those who are lost.”
He might have another:
“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
In His time, Jesus wasn’t overly concerned about social issues. He was concerned with people and the path they were walking. He wanted them in the kingdom. He looked upon the woman who was washing His feet with expensive perfume as an act of worship and questioned why the disciples weren’t doing the same.
The bumper stickers on Jesus’ car? “Follow me.” Through the worst and the best. It won’t be easy. At times it will be difficult. But I will never leave you or forsake you.
Whatever social issues we might be attached to – they could be important. But do not keep them from losing sight of the Savior who made it His point to seek after the lowliest in society to build His kingdom.
I’m still unsettled on this issue, so please comment.
Ray Carroll is the author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” which answers many of the questions I get asked on a weekly basis.
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