Caleb is a religious priest in his community. He was born and raised in a deeply religious and divided country at war with itself. Because of war, he carried a gun for his safety. This zealous priest hated any who did not subscribe to his religious views. He was also particularly averse to the religious traditions of his fathers, insisting only in the literal interpretation and practice of the scriptures. While visiting his relatives in a different city to expound on his religious views, he happened to pray for a sick man. Incredibly, this man turned out to be spiritually alive with deep faith in Jesus and who spoke about the love of God that indwelt him. Very strange theology to the ears of Caleb. These words caused him to weep and experience a baptism of repentance that eventually led to a changed heart, faith in Jesus and a new thirst for the scriptures. He moved from being a hater to becoming a lover of all men and women. He returned home with a new message of love and grace, and began to compassionately, creatively and courageously preach about Jesus. He is now bringing his family and people to Jesus just as the Samaritan woman ran to her village and told the people ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?’ (John 4:29). This is the stuff of the transforming power of the gospel!
Isaiah prophesied that Jesus the Servant of the Lord would transform the hopeless broken- hearted into hopeful oaks of righteousness with an enduring spiritual heritage (Isaiah 61:1-4). He would transform broken hearts into beloved hearts thirsting for God and blessing people.
The gospel narratives are full of inspiring accounts of the gospel transforming the needy in this way. Not even the man possessed by a legion of demons was exempt from this! He was delivered and transformed into an evangelist among his own people, telling them of the mercy of God upon his life. And Jesus now reproduces this work through his people, transforming men and women all over the world so that like Caleb, they are fragrant with the humility and aroma of Christ. The gospel is like a seed with power within it to transform as Jesus said ‘Such is the kingdom of God, as if a man put seed in the earth, And went to sleep and got up, night and day, and the seed came to growth, though he had no idea how!’ (Mark 4:26-27). There is no heart that is closed to this transforming power of the gospel. As a mystic once said ‘whoever catches the disease of Christ cannot be healed!’ Let’s go out and plant the seeds of this transforming gospel everywhere!
Paul Njagi is a Leader Developer. He is married to Wanjiku and they have four adult children
(Baraka, his wife Betty, Mwangi and Muraya)
By Paul Njagi