Picky eaters make me nuts. Why? Because feeding a picky eater requires a high level of creativity. They don’t like to eat broccoli? Smother it in cheese sauce. Carrots? Dip them in ranch dressing. Apple slices? Coat them with peanut butter. But often no amount of creativity will seduce a picky eater to eat anything they’ve decided they don’t like. The thing that makes me nuts is that typically they’ve never even tried the food. How can they know they don’t like it if they’ve never tried it? The truth is they don’t really know they don’t like it. They’re just trying to play it safe. They don’t want to try it- JUST IN CASE they don’t like it.
Some people look at Jesus like a piece of broccoli with cheese sauce. They’ll say “No, I’ve never tried Jesus before but He doesn’t look like something I’d like.” Then the conversation shuts down. Why do they push Jesus away? Because just like a picky eater, they’re playing it safe.
My reaction to people casually setting aside thoughts of Jesus is too often irritation. I want to snap at them “What don’t you want to hear? Do you not want to hear about His abundant love or His unfathomable peace?” I just don’t understand people not willing to engage about Jesus.
But do you know what? Jesus totally understands. He understands that opening up to Him is scary. He understands that after so many people in their life have rejected them, it’s hard to believe that Jesus will never leave them. Jesus is not angry or irritated that people are frightened to approach Him. That’s just my pitiful human reaction. My irritation comes from believing that it’s my job to bring this person to faith in Jesus and if they’re brushing me off, I must be failing. But do you know what? Bringing people into the faith is the Holy Spirit’s job.
So if that’s the Holy spirit’s job, then what are we Christians suppose to do? We are just suppose to invite people to “come and see”. In John 1, the disciple Philip tells a friend Nathanael they have found the Messiah and His name is Jesus of Nazareth. Nathanael immediately has a “picky eater” reaction. He says, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael doesn’t know Jesus but he’s not interested in finding out any more. Does Philip get irritated, or offended? No. Philip just says “Come and see.”
Inviting people to “come and see” Jesus could mean asking them to a church service or sharing a Christian book. But more importantly, it’s showing them what Jesus is doing in your life. It’s saying “You’re not going to believe what happened to me! God so blessed me.” Or “ I was so scared I didn’t know what to do but Jesus led me through it.” It’s true! Your family and friends can see Jesus in your life if you show them. Like picky eaters, many people like to play it safe with Jesus, pushing Him way beyond arms length. Don’t let them push you away just because they’re pushing away Christ. Just keep looking for chances to say “come and see.”