There are countless people whose lives have been changed by an encounter with Jesus, both within and beyond the context of Bible history.
Paul is often rightly cited as an example of the power of Jesus to transform lives. He was a Pharisee (a member of an ancient Jewish religious group) who was so dead set against the followers of Jesus that he took it upon himself to launch a crusade for their imprisonment and in some cases death. Yet after “seeing the light” on the road to Damascus and his subsequent dramatic conversion, he went on to become one of the principal leaders of early Christianity. He is credited with writing approximately two-thirds of the New Testament’s text and was undoubtedly one of the driving forces behind the evangelism of the non-Jewish world of the time.
That is one outstanding transformation, and just because it is so outstanding, it can easily seem out of reach. Most of us want to improve ourselves, but we might not consider it likely that we could have such a remarkable makeover. After all, how many of the millions of converts to Christianity each year get their “names in the paper” like Paul, not to speak of the other 2.2 billion Christians alive today?
That’s why looking at some of the other people whom Jesus met can be a little bit more relatable.
There’s the woman with a dubious past who found peace of mind.1 There’s the tax collector who decided to mend his dishonest ways.2 There are all the nameless people who were just happy to hear Him speak.3 There’s the lady who stood up straight for the first time in 18 years.4 Even Thomas, whose analytical mind was often a barrier, discovered true faith at the touch of the risen Savior.5
God’s makeovers happen in ways big and small. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”6 The new creation doesn’t usually happen at once, but the more we live in Him day by day, the further we go toward reaching our potential.
Dear Lord, help me to dwell in You day-by-day, so that in turn You will work in me and help me become ever more like You.