and they said to him, “we have received no letters from judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. but we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” [acts 28:21-22]


what i’m reading here is basically, we have no opinion about you, good or bad, but we’ve heard christianity is weird, so why don’t you tell us all about it.


what would you say in response to this request? could you articulate the gospel of Jesus Christ to a group of very religious people? you might think, well, sure if i was a great speaker like the apostle paul. but paul wasn’t an eloquent speaker.


for Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 

[1 corinthians 1:17]


you might think, well, sure if i was a learned scholar like the apostle peter.


now when they saw the boldness of peter and john, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. and they recognized that they had been with Jesus. [acts 4:13]


you might think, well, sure if i had a good reputation and not such a colored past full of ugliness and sin. but remember who Jesus uses to spread his message of hope:


Jesus said to her, “go, call your husband, and come here.” the woman answered him, “i have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “you are right in saying, ‘i have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. what you have said is true.” [john 4:16-18]


but the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” so the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “come, see a man who told me all that i ever did. can this be the Christ?” [john 4:23-24, 28-29]


what qualified these people to share the message of Christ was that they had been with Christ. when we spend time with the Lord, seeking him in his word, learning his heart, believing all that he has done for us, we learn the language of the gospel. we become filled with the joy of being his follower, and we overflow with the living water of his Spirit. they knew the gospel because they had heard the message of Christ, believed the message of Christ, and were filled with the message of Christ.


so what would you say in response to these religious leaders? are you full of the message of Christ the Messiah that it would come pouring out through eager lips? have you spent time with him to know him and be filled with him? if not, today is the day to start! you’ll find him in his word. you’ll find him in prayer. you’ll find him in the community of his body, the church. know the gospel! articulate it often, to one another, to your children, parents, roommates, classmates, coworkers, and neighbors. when we know the language of Christ, we will speak the language of Christ, and those who have ears to hear, will listen!


but even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; [1 peter 3:14-15]



~ arwen eastman