I was summoned for jury duty this past week and was one of fifty-five individuals selected as potential jurors for a serious criminal case. It took three days to select the twelve-member jury with two alternates. On the final day of jury selection, the defense attorney had the opportunity to ask questions. Just prior to him asking questions he explained that the charges against his client were serious and the rest of his client’s life would be forever changed by twelve strangers. He explained that his job was to get to know us as best as he could in the little time he had in order to identify the twelve individuals who would listen to the case, follow the judge’s directions, apply the law, and reach an unbiased verdit for his client—obviously, although he did not say this part, the verdict was supposed to be “not guilty”. While I was not chosen, the process was fascinating. The seriousness of the process, the importance of impartial jurors and the power they have over the life of someone else was greatly impressed on me. The jurors selected will make a decision that will impact the rest of his client’s life.
Not unlike these jurors, we as Christians have an impact on the lives of others—a far greater and more significant impact. We have the ability to impact someone’s eternity. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, “ ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ ” (Romans 10:13–15)
As Christians we often get hung up on words like preach, proclaim, evangelize, and convert. We think things like: “That’s not my job.” “I don’t know enough.” “That’s not my gift.” What we foget is that while fancy “church” words may be used—what Paul is trying to convey is that everyone loves to see messengers who bring “Good News!” The feet of a messenger bringing good news are “Beautiful!” Christianity is good news! The gospel is good news! God’s love is good news! Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are good news! That we can have our sins forgiven is good news!
Jurors may have the power to declare a defendant guilty or not guilty; Christians have the power to introduce a guilty defendant to the only one who can remove guilt and forgive sins—Jesus Christ!