How Do I Make Christ Appealing?


My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10.27)

Have you ever been overcome with despair as you wonder how to get through to your friend who is presently a stubborn professing Christian? Have you looked into the eyes of an unbeliever and asked yourself how you might bring them to Christ? Have you wondered how you might appeal to them and somehow have them follow the Savior? If you are a pastor, have you sat in your study and wondered how you might help people to “get it”?

To one degree or another all believers have shared these thoughts.  What happens next, however, is of vital importance. What do we do about it?

Regrettably, we can often, in our ostensibly noble ambitions, find ourselves employing unbiblical means. We aim to make Christ more appealing to the one who seems to that he is not very appealing. This usually means giving Jesus something of an extreme-makeover so that the eligible unbeliever might be won over. We may be tempted to change his message, his tone, his requirements, his work, his kingdom, and his demands.  Somehow our humble desires got laced with pride. There is nothing worse than making a Jesus in the image of the unbeliever. God-making is not noble, it is idolatry.

Thankfully, this is not the way it works. Ah, yes, it “working”—that’s what we want…right?

Remember, God is the suitor, the seeker, the pursuer, the initiator.

Notice the everlasting rebuke upon our shameful creativity or the everlasting encouragement in our despair (whichever you need): “My sheep hear my voice…”

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10.27)

Ah, this is what I need to hear. I need to hear the Savior’s voice. Listen, if they are truly ‘his sheep’ then they will truly hear his voice. They will respond to the Shepherd’s call. It is as simple as that. And this is a result of the glorious reality that the Good Shepherd knows them.

So find yourself refreshed by the wet ink of John 10.  The Master’s words and actions remain true.  In this context he is scrapping with the religious reprobates who do not hear his voice.

But what does Jesus do? He just keeps on preaching the glorious truth of who he is and what he is doing. He speaks of his glorious relationship with his Father. He speaks of the power of his word and work. He speaks of the hardness of their hearts. Jesus just keeps on preaching.

This is a good model and motivation for us today. Are you stressing out over how to make Christ appealing?  Hear and believe the words of the Savior, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

Whether in the coffee shop, the dinner table, or the pulpit, you just keep unpacking the glorious beauty of Christ’s person and work to their hearts. And if they are his sheep they will, according to Jesus, follow him.