The Real Question and Real Point

The Real Question and Real Point

March 5, 2024

The “He Gets Us” ad campaign is stirring up a lot of ruckus in the Christian community, which is getting play in the secular world. Even Fortune Magazine carried an article about the conflict between Christians.

I think the real question and the real point is, “Do we get Him? Do we who profess to know Him truly get Him? Do our actions reflect who He is? Do we truly get Him and His priority?”

Jesus said, “A new command that I give to you is that you love one another just as I have loved you. By this all people will know that you are my followers.” John 13:34-35

Do we get this? Do we get Him?

The religious people of Jesus’s day didn’t. The Jews struggled with just believing in Jesus. But after Jesus died and rose again and the early Church began in power, even some of the Jews who had chosen to follow Him and believed Him didn’t get Him. They didn’t get that it was JESUS – Jesus plus nothing. Jesus was enough. They added their Jewish traditions. Even Peter got caught in this, and Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians to clearly address the fact that Jesus was not about an improvement to the law. He made everything before Him obsolete. He fulfilled the law.

Paul, a Pharisee of the Pharisees, even said, “Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him.” 1 Corinthians 9:22 TLB

Acts 15 says that in the first council of church leaders, they met over the question of what followers of Jesus had to do in order to be accepted. Peter said, “We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” James, the brother of Jesus, urged them, “My judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”

I believe we are missing the whole point when we have public theological arguments about witnessing to the love of Jesus. The disagreements appear to be spiritual and theological on the surface, but underlying it all are political disagreements and loyalties. Disagreements with the ads use words like “woke” and “agendas,” and none of these words and phrases speak of “getting Jesus,” His love for the world, and His desire (see His last prayer in John 17) that His followers be united in their love for each other so the world would know they belonged to Him.

Getting Him means we get His desire for our unity and His love for those who don’t yet know Him.

Getting Him means that following Him and loving the world for which He died eclipses all other loyalties, including our political alliances.

Getting Him means that our traditions and preferences never stand in the way of loving and welcoming others to follow Him.

The “He Gets Us” campaign is now under a new charitable organization, “Come Near,” meaning the Servant Foundation is no longer overseeing it. The nonprofit says it is “committed to sharing the life and love of Jesus in thought-provoking new ways.” Perhaps not all of those ways are ways I would do it. But criticizing the sharing is not helpful or productive.

Years ago, Billy Sunday was chastised by a man for the ways he shared the gospel. He told Sunday, “I don’t like the way you do that.” He said it seemed “crude and inappropriate” to him. Billy Sunday thanked him for sharing his opinion and asked the man what he was doing to share Jesus to the world, especially these people. The man slowly acknowledged he wasn’t doing anything. Sunday gave him a piercing look, and said, “Well, I definitely prefer what I am doing to what you aren’t doing.” Truth. People are thinking about Jesus.

On its website, the campaign notes that “probably the most common questions” received are about its stance on the LGBTQ+ community. “So let us be clear in our opinion. Jesus loves gay people and Jesus loves trans people … No matter who you are, YOU are invited to explore the story of Jesus and consider what it means for your life.” Is there anything about that statement that the God who so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life” would not affirm?

Of course, the “He Gets Us” ads don’t say everything. There is more that a person who comes to Jesus will learn. But it’s a place to start. I believe a person who truly gets Jesus and follows Him will applaud any effort to get Jesus’s love on display for the world to see.