Of all the tributes that have been paid to the Man of Nazareth, none is more significant or full of meaning than the Apostle Peter’s reference to Him as the One anointed with the Holy Ghost and power, “who went about doing good.” The ministry of Christ was constructive. His goodness was positive. He did not go about merely refraining from evil: He went about doing good. He exalted conduct above creeds, deeds above words, and spirit above form. He laid more emphasis upon the blessedness of serving God and our fellowmen here.
Christianity is a religion for the everyday life. To interpret it any other way is to misread the life and teaching of Jesus. He attended church on the Sabbath. Though he was a physician, He did not allow any good work He was engaged in to keep Him away. But His religion was an everyday religion. His service was not simply of the lip, but likewise of the heart and hand. Words [alone] do not convey the gospel message. The truth must be lived. The gospel is never wholly expressed until incarnated in a life. The best commentary we can have on the New Testament is in every Christian.
Christianity is a religion for every man. Jesus was the first true democrat. His mission was to the Gentile as well as to the Jew, to barbarian as well as to Greek, to high and to low, to rich and poor alike. By means of the vision on the housetop at Joppa, He taught peter to call no man common or unclean. His noble democracy appeals to all. He discovered the individual. He recognized the inherent worth of humanity even at its worst. He had scorn and contempt for none. Contrary to the ideals and practices of the world, He taught the doctrine of the survival of the weakest through the loving care of the strong. He impressed three words indelibly upon the minds of man – “last,” “least,” and “lost.” He makes the last first, the least to be greatest, and the lost to be found. Unless we know that we have a gospel for everybody, we cannot be sure that we have a gospel for anybody.
Christianity is a religion for the entire man. In the gospel we see Jesus concerned about the bodies and minds of people as well as about their souls. He took cognizance of the entire physical, intellectual, and spiritual natures. He would not preach to starving people. He ceased teaching when the multitudes became hungry, and wrought a miracle to satisfy their hunger. Following in His footsteps, we are to save not only the souls of men, but the whole man for God.
A religion that stands the every-day test, the every-man test, and the entire-man test is a practical religion. It qualifies us for the noblest living and highest efficiency here and later. It is the kind of religion the world needs; it is the sort that will save human society. This is the religion that Jesus taught by word of mouth and deed of life.
One day a Christian worker was telling the story of Christ to a group of children. As she related incident after incident by which she could bring out the matchless life of Jesus, bit by bit, one of the children who was listening very intently exclaimed, “I know Him; He lives near us.”
We are living epistles known and read of all men. Does the world see Jesus in us?
*Taken from the August 1963 issue of Message Magazine