Christ asked a simple question about Himself which might be helpful in evangelism: “What do you think of Christ?” (Mt 22:41-42) Most people don’t feel threatened when asked their opinion, and very few seem to have a negative opinion of Christ Himself, so it may be a great way to broach the subject of spirituality without being awkward.
Christ is unarguably the greatest figure in human history, standing far above all others; He may also be the most controversial, so healthy discussion about Him has the potential to be energizing and enlightening. Most everyone seems to have an opinion, but very few appear to ground their opinions in fact.
Thinking honestly about Christ requires knowing what He’s like, studying the Gospels, and carefully considering what Jesus said and did.
Those to whom Christ asked this singular question didn’t think carefully about Him, so they didn’t understand Him and they missed Him, the greatest human being who ever lived, though He stood in their midst, and taught in their streets.
People outside Christianity generally think Christ was a great teacher, and no more, but this is the one thing He can’t be.
Christ didn’t just claim to know the way to God, He also claimed to be the Way (Jn 14:6), and to actually be God Himself in human form (Jn 14:9) … these are claims no reasonable mortal would ever make, especially a devout Jew.
If Christ’s testimony about Himself is true, then He isn’t just a good teacher — He is God Himself; if Christ’s witness of His own nature it isn’t true then Christ isn’t even good, this would make Him out to be a profound liar, an impostor … or worse.
Christ’s unique claims require each soul to make a decision about Him; He leaves us no other choice.
Christ publicly predicted His crucifixion well before it happened, and proclaimed that He was going to raise Himself from the dead. (Mt 27:62-63) Then it happened as He said: the Jews did crucify Him … and then Christ did raise Himself from the dead.
The apostles, who knew Christ personally and followed Him, gave up all worldly comforts to testify of this, of the fact of Christ’s bodily resurrection — something they’d have known was a lie if it wasn’t true. This was at a time when the very thought of resurrection was mocked in common culture (Ac 17:32), not merely as impossible, but also undesirable. Yet the apostles all died martyr’s deaths, never seeking wealth, fame, pleasure or power, never wavering in their zeal or testimony.
People don’t deliberately sacrifice all, suffer and die for what they know is a lie.
It is undisputed, universally accepted historical fact that Christianity was born of this apostolic witness in the first century C.E, and grew miraculously despite vicious persecution. No one can explain how Christianity came to exist if Christ isn’t authentic, if He didn’t actually raise Himself from the dead. This is historically proven, if anything is, and it’s unique: there’s nothing else like it in world religions. (Ac 17:31)
Let’s gently appeal to souls to ground their views of Christ in facts, and then to serve Him and enter into His rest. Moving people to carefully ponder Christ, challenging their neglect of Him, might be a powerful tool in the hands of the Spirit as we encounter each eternal soul.