Monday, November 7, 2016

Audaciousness in Christ

John 9, particularly verse 27, suggests that Christians need, at times, to allow audaciousness flavour their evangelism.  The world is so good at selling a story with zing - Christians need to step-up and have their own tricks.

Luther perhaps was modelling a form of audaciousness when he nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517.  Galileo  rose from his inquisitors, depicting his own audaciousness - {a continuation of the assertion that the earth moved} - saying, "e pur, si muove" -- "even so, it does move."

free and unattributable

"He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. 
Why do you want to hear it again? 
Do you want to become his disciples too?” John 9:27

Verse 27 is the fourth interchange in a dialogue.   Luke's record identified the dialogue as between the healed man and some Pharisees who are investigating the healing.  The healed man had earlier specified the answer to the Pharisees question.   In verse 27 the healed man - from irony or perhaps frustration - identifies his answer again.  He identifies the answer by reference only and with economy.  It seems that the healed man cares not to satisfy the ignorance of his counterparts.

The audaciousness of the answer in verse 27 comes from the delightful inclusion of the question in response "Do you want to become his disciples too?".  This is audacious in that the Pharisees have high esteem as religious leaders and they have yet to show any respect for the healer; Jesus.  The question in response would have been quite an affront to them.  Indeed, verse 28 follows with Luke's observation that the Pharisees hurled insults at the man.

The other contextual issue that reveals the healed man's audaciousness is that the dialogue he has with the Pharisees is very revealing.  As the man's conviction and confidence firms through the dialogue, the Pharisees' opposition increases.  So, as the Spirit stirs the healed man to boldness, the hardened hearts of the Pharisees becomes more evident.  The question "Do you want to become his disciples too?" is a direct reflection of the man's audaciousness.

Luke does not record how many Pharisees there were; however, it is fair to say that there is audaciousness in the aspect of one un-schooled man addressing many educated men.

So, in these verses is a challenge.  Christian evangelism does not need to have softness and gentleness all of the time.  Sometimes, it needs audaciousness.  At both times the Holy Spirit will guide you.


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