Act 3 – Scene 2
The lame man (Acts 3) had been healed by Jesus. There was great rejoicing as the man clings to Peter and John, a natural response from a man who had been lame from birth, and people are astounded at what has happened.
Peter saw this and began to preach to the crowd, in a way that the crowd understood. What you notice about all the New Testament preachers is that they pitch it at their audience. Peter is talking to a crowd who were present at the crucifixion of Jesus and had played their part (verse 14). He explains the good news to them in way that they would have understood.
Peter doesn’t pull any punches or try and soften the blow about the condition of the hearts of his audience but he does give them a message of hope. Hope that is only found in Jesus.
Christians are commissioned to be people who spread the good news of Jesus. However, we often talk in terms that people don’t understand and then don’t explain them! We need to talk in language that people understand or we’ll lose them from the conversation. We need to talk about sin but we have to explain it, as people don’t get the concept of sin. Maybe we need to talk in terms of selfishness, start there and then explain its destructive consequences (there is other jargon that we can fall into and it is a big put off for communicating the good news) the gospel’s focus is on the new life in Christ and eternal life at that, if we focus more on sin then we miss the point. Sin is serious, and has been catastrophic for the world, but Jesus is the great redeemer and restorer. What a beautiful message to bring to a broken world!
This message is still powerful and Jesus still mighty to save, a broken world, a broken humanity. Think about the language you use when talking about the good news; does it help or hinder conversations? How have people responded? How do you talk about the good news when a whole generation don’t know about Jesus? What Christian jargon is unhelpful and how can it be reworded and explained to a non-Christian?
If you have any helpful suggestions, then please feel free to comment or share stories of how you have either had successful (people still talk to you and are still asking you questions) conversations with non-Christians or when you have had un-successful ones.
Please help this conversation along and tell us what you have learned.