Thursday
Jul092009

You Never Mentioned Him

Perhaps the soft-hearted worshiper cringes just a bit when the song leader selects You Never Mentioned Him To Me.

The disciple with good intentions, but far less courage, is made to feel a bit guilty or regretful when he considers just how many friends, neighbors and even loved ones to whom he has never mentioned the invitation of Jesus Christ.

The careful student of the New Testament witnesses better in the early days of the church. What if Philip had never bothered to say to Nathanael, “Come and see” when the latter wondered if anything good could ever come out of Nazareth? A short time later, there is Nathanael exclaiming, “Rabbi, you are the son of God! You are the king of Israel” (John 1:49)!

Then there is the Samaritan woman with whom Jesus conversed at Jacob’s well. Jesus had confronted her about her many marriages and taught her that true worship required spirit and truth. “So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ’” (John 4:28-29)? Immediately, the townspeople came out to see Jesus. “Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony … And many more believed because of his word” (39, 41).

Many who read this will think of a parent or grandparent who mentioned Jesus to them, starting them on a path of faith that has blessed their lives with contentment and hope. Perhaps it is a grandmother like Lois or a mother like Eunice, who taught Timothy soundness of faith (see Second Timothy 1:5). Perhaps it is a father who brought you “up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Now it is time for you to repay their concern by sharing the same message with the generation that follows you.

Others who read will realize that their lives were touched by friends or strangers who cared enough to broach the subject of faith. Maybe it was a believer like Philip who answered the Ethiopian eunuch’s questions and led him to the obedient waters of baptism (see Acts 8:26-40). Or was it a modern day son of encouragement like old Barnabas? Was it a coworker, classmate, neighbor or friend who mentioned him to you?

The day of judgment will be filled with sadness for all whose friends and fellow travelers never mentioned him. It is not that they have an excuse for their disbelief, for the message was still there. It is that they never received the motivation that a heartfelt invitation of someone near to them might have provided. Perhaps your invitation would have made all the difference. 

But you never mentioned him to them.