Are there things that we find easy to talk to others about? There are also things that we find hard to talk about. Do we find it hard to talk about Jesus? We are commanded to do so. We know that everyone needs Jesus yet we find it harder to talk about him than about football. Christians are to offer sacrifices acceptable to God (v5) and declare his praises (v9).
The problem is that we all find evangelism difficult. If a building was on fire we wouldn’t sneak out, we’d tell others to get out. So why do we find evangelism hard? We’re lazy. It’s easy to keep our heads down. There’s a spiritual battle as well. The devil doesn’t want people to become Christians. It can be hard to be rejected. Sometimes we’d rather not know what people think. Another problem is that we don’t know what to say.
Peter knows that telling others about Jesus is hard. He was so frightened of a little girl that he wouldn’t admit he was a follower of Jesus. Yet God used him to tell lots of others about Jesus. Part of being a Christian is that this world is no longer our home. We’re aliens and strangers in the world. People will think we’re strange. Even if you live a good life people will accuse you of doing wrong, because that’s easier than accepting the message of Jesus. What do we do?
We are to keep seeing who we are together because of Jesus. He is the living stone, the one that shapes what the building will look like. The cornerstone of a building always needs to be right; it’s the key stone for the whole building. Jesus shapes the building that Christianity is. Yet this cornerstone was rejected (v4). The same thing happens today. People reject him as King. Christianity says we are not good enough for God. It causes people to stumble. Jesus is precious to God as he’s his own son and is precious to us as he rescues us. The more we look at Jesus the more we will see who we are because of him.
We are a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. We are now God’s priesthood (v9). That’s why he uses Christians to call others to follow him. We are royal because we are children of the King. We are a chosen people. Once we weren’t a people (v10) but now we have received mercy because Jesus died to rescue us. One person doesn’t make a nation. This is what Christians are called to be together. It’s who we are so that we live good lives among the pagans (v12). This is how God calls Christians to live for him, to live distinctively because of who we are in Jesus. This gives us opportunities to declare his praises so that others follow him.
Sometimes we can either not live distinctively or hide away and not spend time in this world. When others become Christians you can see the change in their lives. People see when Christians live distinctively. It’s only possible to do this together, when we love and support each other when times are tough. People will see this and will be drawn into the community of the church.