Does Jesus Need You to Make Him Famous?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
3638971241 cfe7431998 z 1

Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables...

Matthew 10:5-9

Some guy with a beard and a fading plaid shirt tells me that he’s all about building his life around making Jesus famous.

And I carry his words around like a stone caught in a gullet, like it wants to make something hard digestible.

It’s a strange thing: Does Jesus need help to be made famous?

Platform Building vs. Kingdom Building

While Christ walked this earth, Christ had countless opportunities afforded him to become famous. And what does he do? This is how Jesus feels about fame:

1. Jesus resisted fame.

Jesus repeatedly instructed those whom he healed to keep quiet about the miracle. When the demon-possessed man was emancipated from the evil spirits and he begs to come travel with Jesus, Jesus could easily have used him as yes, the opening act, to draw the crowds. But what does Jesus do? He tells the man to go home and quietly just tell his own community what God has done. Jesus wasn’t building a platform to stand on; he was building a Kingdom for us to dwell in.

2. Jesus retreated from fame.

Jesus could have rallied a bigger tribe, jockeyed for more eyes, more ears, more attention. And instead? “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Jesus wasn’t building a platform for a bigger tribe; he was building a Kingdom for quiet transformation.

3. Jesus rejected fame.

How did Satan tempt Jesus? "The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple" (Luke 4:9). And then he tempts Jesus to jump. Satan's implication is that if Jesus were to jump off the temple to the pavement far below, he wouldn't be injured because angels would catch him. It would be startling—the ultimate PR stunt. The visible miracle of one who walked away from mortal injury. Jesus would be instantly famous. And what does Jesus do? He rejects it.

When Jesus did in fact set his face to Jerusalem, he wasn’t about performing some crowd-gathering show at the Temple, as Satan wanted him to. Jesus Christ went to Jerusalem to die.

A Christian’s calling is never about building a platform. It’s about becoming Cruciform. It’s about shaping your life like a sacrificial cross.

Might be that Jesus doesn’t need us to grow platforms to make him famous. He resisted, rejected, and retreated from fame. Might be that he needs Kingdom builders, not platform builders.

When we are building a platform, we are jealous for the love of every person and jealous of others who seem to have more success.

When we are building a Kingdom, we know he is jealous for our love, and rankings and ratings don’t hold our attention, because our Savior has all our attention.

When we are building a platform, we are envious and striving for more. When we are building a Kingdom, we aren’t envious—we are encouraging. We aren’t striving for more—we are secure in him. When we are building a platform, we compete and clamber for more followers. When we are building a Kingdom, we are already complete in Christ, and the only follower that matters is whether we are following Christ.

When we are building a platform, numbers matter.
When we are building a Kingdom, only one thing matters and that one thing is his message.

Platform builders compete and compare one another.
Kingdom builders compliment and care for one another.

Platform builders look at all the people and say, “I need more.”
Kingdom builders look at this one person right here and say, “You matter. You are enough—because He is enough.”

Could be that those people who’ve been saved by one ringing hammer and some bent nails and two beams of wood carrying the exploding heart of a willing servant might not know much about building something as flimsy as a platform—and a whole lot more about building a Kingdom.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What would practically change in your life if you inverted all platform building into Kingdom building? How are you resisting, rejecting, and retreating from fame? How are you daily not seeking your kingdom, but his Kingdom?

PRAYER: Make me not a platform builder as much as a Kingdom builder. Make me not so concerned about building a platform, but about becoming cruciform. Make me resist, reject, and retreat from fame. Make me a builder like the Carpenter of the Kingdom, who picked up a Cross and answered the call to come die. Amen.


Building a Platform

The idea of building a platform has become a popular way of talking about about marketing. What does that look like, when you're leading from the soul? So many of us cringe at the word "platform." How can we reframe the whole idea so it makes sense and plays a positive role in the Kingdom of God? What is the right perspective? Can building a platform and building the Kingdom of God co-exist? In this series, Building a Platform, we take a look at what it looks like to embrace marketing while leading from the soul and, at the same time, faithfully stewarding roles, responsibilities, and resources to impact the Kingdom of God.

Featured image by Pete. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.

Graphic image by Darlene Countrygirl. Graphic deign by Jennifer Dukes Lee.