Can I Meet Jesus?

Can I Meet Jesus?

I was listening to the radio on a drive home recently and part of the early evening programming included a 15-minute segment on the story of Peter Cartwright, an early evangelist in the western U.S. As the story progressed through difficulties and trials, a young man named Claude became part of the narrative. Cartwright felt a great compulsion to share the Gospel message in whatever circumstances in which he found himself, and Claude heard the story of Jesus. He was so convicted by the message that he asked Cartwright, “Can I meet Jesus?”

That question has stayed with me. How would you answer that question? Can I meet Jesus?

I remembered Scripture passages …

   … When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him … (John 11:20)

   … When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from a cemetery to meet him (Mark 5:2)

    … Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. (John 1:42)

    … Some Greeks approached Philip and said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” (John 12:21)

Even in these few verses, we realize that people want to meet Jesus for a variety of reasons – a grieving sister, a demon possessed man, a brother wanted someone he loved to meet Him, and those who had heard about Jesus wanted to meet him.

What is Attractive?

When was the last time someone came to you and said, “Can I meet Jesus?” I don’t know about you but it’s been a long time since someone asked that question of me.

When was the last time someone came to you and said, “Can I meet Jesus?” 

What attracts a person to Jesus?

  • In the story of Peter Cartwright and Claude above, it was the clear presentation of the Good News about Jesus.
  • For Martha, it was a personal relationship and a deep hurt.
  • For the demon-possessed man, it was a deep need for healing.
  • For Andrew, it was a desire for his brother to have a similar experience.
  • For those Greeks, the story of Jesus had spread, and they were intrigued, curious.

What can I learn from these Bible accounts that will help me live my life differently so that people will be attracted to Jesus because of what I say, do, live?

How should I live differently so that people will be attracted to Jesus?

The Bible is pretty clear about how I should live …

   … but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5)

   … Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:16-18)

   … We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

   … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)

So these Scriptures and more confirm for us the way we should live so that our lives might cause someone to ask, “Can I meet Jesus?”

Intentional Living

So if we believe the Bible to be true, and we can, in fact, live a life in such a way that people are drawn to Jesus, why don’t we? What’s the problem?

It might be fear. We feel like we don’t know enough, and we don’t want to scare someone away. Or perhaps we don’t really want anyone to know we are Jesus-followers. Maybe we’ve become so entrenched in “church” that we don’t speak everyday words when we talk about Jesus. Maybe we don’t talk about Him at all.

For Peter Cartwright, he was so compelled to talk about Jesus that even with faltering language he knew those around him were destined for a life of hell, and that he was all that was standing between them and disaster. He loved people and wanted them to know the Good News.

I think I can take a page out of Peter Cartwright’s life and be more intentional with those around me. I can live out the Scriptures I know more intentionally and be a faithful beacon of light in a dark world.

Will you go with me? Who around you needs God’s love and forgiveness? A family member, a co-worker, the person at Starbucks, the drycleaners, the grocery store, etc.????

Let’s be ready to respond when someone sees our light and says, “Can I meet Jesus?”

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Karen McGuire

Karen McGuire came to Lead Like Jesus in February 2004 following the first Lead Like Jesus Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama, in November 2003, where she served as the volunteer coordinator. She comes with vast experience in local church ministry and denominational work and has been instrumental in the formation of several successful nonprofit ventures, including two churches, a seminary, a medical missions organization, and a welfare-to-work program. Karen served on several church staffs, held many volunteer positions in her local church, and is a Bible study teacher and seminar and retreat leader. She has one son and two young adult granddaughters.