Reading Luke with a friend
I remember the first time I asked a friend to look at the Bible with me. I bought her a Bible in September, and 5 months later, in February, I finally plucked up the courage to actually give it to her.
We were having coffee together, and I nervously pulled the Bible out of my bag, pushed it awkwardly across the table, and hurriedly mumbled something along the lines of, ‘I bought you this, maybe you’d like to read it and ask me any questions you have?’
I don’t know what I expected, maybe awkward silence, or her laughter, or outrage? What I actually got was a smile and this comment, ‘Thanks so much! I’ve been thinking that reading the Bible is exactly what I need.’
She did read it, and we did chat about it, and not long afterwards she decided to follow Jesus, which is really rather wonderful! But despite that fabulous first experience, I still find the idea of inviting friends to read the Bible with me a little terrifying, and maybe you do too!
This year across Great Britain we’ll see thousands of CU students giving copies of Luke’s Gospel to their friends, and inviting them to Uncover Jesus. You can be one of those students! It might sound a bit scary, and perhaps it is a bit scary, but there are some wonderful reasons that make the scary bit worthwhile!
Firstly, it’s true! Perhaps your friends are sceptical, perhaps they will ask you difficult questions, perhaps they’ll think you’re crazy for believing it, but in the end we can have confidence despite all of that, because it really is true. We’re not asking our friends to believe a fairy tale, or to take a giant leap in the dark. We’re inviting them to examine trustworthy evidence that will stand up to scrutiny.
We also have loads of resources that will help you to show that. Bethinking.org is stacked full of articles and videos and audio files to help you think through some of your friends’ difficult questions about faith, and uncover.org.uk is a great resource for thinking specifically about the questions and issues raised in Luke’s gospel. You can send your friends there to see for themselves, or you can check it out yourself to give you confidence as you answer their questions!
Secondly, it’s powerful! I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation for those who believe. We trust and believe that God will and does speak through his word, and that when we put our faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, we are saved. We can believe it for our friends, because we know that God has already done it for us! These are not empty words, but God’s words, and they are powerful.
Thirdly, it’s good! We’re not just inviting our friends to read a book; we’re inviting them to meet the living Lord Jesus. We have been brought from death to life, and as we invite our friends to read Luke and Uncover Jesus, we are inviting them to something wonderful: new and much, much better life in Him.
Sometimes it will be hard work, sometimes we will be asked difficult questions, and sometimes we won’t get the response that we want, but let’s pray for our friends, give them a gospel, and invite them to read it with us, trusting that in those pages they might meet the living, lovely, beautiful Jesus.
Ellie Cook is a Christian Union Staff Worker with Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham