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Honest Evangelism: The Glory of Jesus

An excerpt from “Honest Evangelism" by Rico Tice

Honest Evangelism

Glory. It’s a religious-sounding word, and I make no apology for using it. When it comes to Jesus, no other word will do. The glory of something is its weight, its unique worth. It’s what sets something apart in an inimitable way. The glory of a sunset is its colour; the glory of a lion is its strength; the glory of a master craftsman is his skill. And in Jesus we see the nature and presence of God flood out.

God’s glory is almost too much to take in. When Peter, James and John caught a glimpse of it as Jesus was transfigured in blazing white on a mountaintop, Peter spluttered rubbish— he was so “frightened” (Mark 9 v 6). When John saw the risen Jesus in his glory on Patmos, he says: “I fell at his feet as though dead” (Revelation 1 v 17). This is the glory of God, seen in Jesus; and Jesus himself said it was displayed most clearly of all, not on the mountaintop or in John’s vision, but at the cross (John 12 v 23-24).

And what is our response to be to this glory? We pray for it each time we pray the Lord’s Prayer: “Hallowed be your name” (Luke 11 v 2). Has it ever occurred to you that this is the number one motivation for evangelism in the Bible? The prayer here is about a concern for the honour of the Lord Jesus’ name. We’re asking that the Lord be treated appropriately—that at his name, every knee would bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord. So Paul describes his evangelistic mission, at the start of his letter to the Romans, as calling “all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake” (Romans 1 v 5). Ordinary Christians in the early church “went out” to evangelise “for the sake of the Name” (3 John v 7).

This is all about Jesus being treated in a way that recognises his glory. Jesus himself tells us how he should be treated in the world he has made. He is its creator, and therefore he has authority over it. His last words to his disciples are:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28 v 18-19)

The theologian and statesman Abraham Kuyper put it like this: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” Here is our mandate for worldwide evangelism. We need permission from no one else. 



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