General Booth once said that the only translation of the Bible that most people will read is the one translated into shoe leather. What he meant was that most people won’t read the Bible, however they will see spiritual truth when its translated into “shoe leather” that is through ordinary believers going about their everyday lives living out the Gospel.
I thought about General Booth’s words when I came across a phrase from 2 Corinthians in the King James Version which says, “ ….the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” 2 Cor 4:10 Sometimes I find that the old words used in the KJV some times help me see some things with new eyes. “Manifest” isn’t really a word we use a great deal these days, it basically means to make clear or obvious. Paul says something here which is simply astounding to me. He says that the “the life of Jesus” is to be made, manifest, clear and obvious to people in and through “our body.” Body here doesn’t mean the shape of your body but stands for what you do physically, your actions, your whole life.
Just think that over for a moment. Your life has the potential, indeed is intended to, reveal Jesus to people you come into contact with through the way you live your life. Your decisions, your reactions, your activities are to make Jesus “manifest” to those you are in contact with. People are meant to start thinking that Jesus is like you, as the first stage towards them realising that is because you are becoming like Him.
Of all the ways Jesus could have chosen to reveal himself, God’s Word says here that one of the main ways He choose to do so is through our lives as His disciples. Your life as a Christian is to be a Holy Spirit empowered audio-visual aid to help people see who Jesus is more clearly. Jesus is to be seen in our actions. The character of Jesus is to be made obvious to others through the everyday decisions and activities of our lives. The Gospels tells the story of Jesus, they reveal who He is. There is a sense in which in addition to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, there is the Gospel according to you. Your life is revealing Jesus to those you come into contact with.
So my question to myself is, which you might like to ask yourself, is “What has been obvious about Jesus to those who have been in contact with me over the last week?”