*Jesus Christ = JC
*Jesus Reyes = JR
October 2012, InterVarsity at UCLA launched their Proxe, “Who Will You Be”. I tagged along hoping to meet Greek students during the first quarter of the UCLA Greek Plant. One day, I stopped a student on campus to chat about God and Identity. Little did I know how fruitful this short interaction would be.
The student’s name is Jesus Reyes and after running through the whole Proxe I found out two things:
JR grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness and he’s Greek (Omega Sigma Tau). We had a great time talking about these two things and he expressed his interest in learning more about God.
I immediately invited him to check out Greek InterVarsity and started talking with him weekly through the Gospel of John. For the next 4 months, I would meet with JR and we would talk through a lot of scripture, share lots about one another’s life and dive into the differing beliefs he grew up with and compare them to the bible.
By the end of Fall quarter, we had been halfway through the Gospel of John and I felt encouraged in my regular time of prayer for him. I summed up the boldness and asked him to make a commitment to follow JC as I felt so encouraged by the Lord through the way He had been leading our conversations. While I was hopeful, JR mentioned that there were things that he was still wrestling with in truly believing that Jesus is God and the concept of a Trinitarian God.
After letting that sit over the winter break I continued praying for Lord to continue speaking to JR.
With a new start to a new quarter I was very excited to hear about how all my Greek students were doing, especially JR. Praise the Lord, it looks like the He had been speaking to JR.
On Monday, January 28th JR and I got together. I asked him how he was simmering on our last conversation and the first question he asked me was, “Why JC?” I was eager to answer his question and the best way I knew how was through a dirty hands analogy.
I took a piece of paper and told him that the paper represented all of the sin in our lives. Many people will say, “If I pray enough hail Mary’s, do enough good or just be more of a moral person, I will get into heaven.” As I said this, I began crumbling the piece paper into a ball and told him that this action represented someone following those 3 beliefs to inherit Heaven. I threw the paper away and stuck out my palms face up and said, “Here’s the problem… Now my hands are dirty.”
I explained to him that it does not matter how good of a person you are, how many good deeds you do or how good you look on the outside; That, in fact, is exactly what the Pharisees believed would champion yourself into the Kingdom of God. We need someone who can take the filth that we cannot remove ourselves and cleanse our hands clean and the ONLY one who can do that is Jesus Christ.
We then studied John 10:1-21 which reads:
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some ot
her way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.
They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep
know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided.
20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Here, JC clearly tells us that HE is the gate, HE is the good shepherd and HE is the only one who has authority to take his own life and take it up again.
JR’s biggest observation was John 10:18 where Jesus says:
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to
take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
JR grasped how much JC loved him because He had the only authority to take his life and to take it up again. JR understood that He came into this world knowing exactly what the plan was from the begin: to die on the cross out perfect love for us.
After the dirty hands analogy and reading and studying through John 10 JR said, “It makes logical sense and it’s very clear now!”
I was a little taken aback as I was expecting some kind of hesitancy or resiliency but he continued to talk about how clear the analogy was, how clear the scripture is and how clear it is that Jesus is God!
After the Lord opened up his heart, I began to share the Gospel through John 10 and the dirty hands analogy. We spoke about what it means to commit our lives to JC – submitting every aspect of our lives to the teaching and following of Jesus, standing in the face of persecutors of faith and devoting your life to glorify God through receiving the undeserved grace of JC’s death and resurrection.
After making these expectations super clear, JR said that he still wanted to pray and accept JC into his heart as his Lord and Savior! HALLELUJAH!
Let me just say that it is such a humbling honor and privilege to be the one the Lord uses to lead someone to faith and hear them pray to accept Christ into their hearts!
The Angels in Heaven are throwing a fat party for JR (Luke 15) as he professes with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart (Romans 10:9-13)!
Please join me in celebration and prayer for JR as he is born again of the Spirit. Pray for his spiritual protection and strengthening in the Word and for him to become a world changer to his Fraternity Brothers!