25th May 2014

What Would Jesus Tweet? 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:16-17 

Have you ever heard of Twitter? It’s a social networking platform which launched in 2006 to give computer and smart-phone users the ability instantly to post very short messages that are limited to 140 characters or less. Almost everyone tweets—from people like Kanye West and Britney Spears, all the way up to the President of the United States. But as Solomon wrote: “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). 

But social media isn’t as “cutting edge” as we think. Before the Tweet deck or the somewhat older Facebook wall, there was the local tavern. Romans used to write brief comments on stone walls—posting greetings, proclaiming their love and even grumbling about the media content of the day. Here are a couple of their ancient “Tweets” that I found pretty amusing:
            “Secondus sends many and perpetual greetings to Onesimus.”
            “Oh wall, I am amazed you haven’t fallen down, since you bear tedious scribbling of so many writers.” 

And if you thought chat rooms were an invention of the modern digital age, think again. During the 19th century, telegraph operators used to go “on-line” to tell jokes, play chess and even fall in love. 

These types of social media have been around in one form or another since the time of Christ. And that got me thinking: if Jesus was online today, what would he tweet? Could he fit the good news of the gospel into a single 140-character message? Many theologians have actually wrestled with this very issue. And time and time again they come back with the same answer: Yes. 

It looks like this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). John 3:16 is probably one of the most well-known verses in the Bible. And on top of that, it’s been translated into over 1,200 different languages. Martin Luther called it “the gospel in miniature” because it perfectly illustrates the loving nature of our Creator God. He loved us so much that no matter who we were, where we were or what sin we’d already committed, he sent his only Son to save us. It’s a verse that gives us hope in Christ, and affirms God’s ultimate purpose for us all: not to perish—but to live in communion with him.

Now that’s a message we can all re-Tweet!

Holy Father, however we communicate with one another, you have communicated with each one of us and left the completed record for us, the Bible, to understand with your help. We acknowledge, Father, that we only know in part and communicate in part, and so we ask for your help in understanding. Our prayer as ever is offered through Jesus Christ’s holy name.

Study by Joseph Tkach


joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

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