Jesus has overcome [insert anything and everything here]

Until earlier this month my only experience with Brazil had been one night in the Amazon jungle. That night was spent remote, humid, quiet (except for a torrential downpour), and in a tiny village.
Chad Johnson

Chad is the founder of Come&Live!

Website: www.facebook.com/chadjohnson
If you’ve watched the Colombia Documentary - Esto Es Reino - you’ll know exactly what I’m referencing. The tangled, packed concrete jungle of São Paulo—the largest city, by far, in the Americas—slowly shuttles over 12 million inhabitants around. Getting anywhere, at any time day or night, is like a slow-paced adventure in hurry up and wait.

I flew all night, landed early morning, and was met by two friendly faces on the fun side of customs. We opted for the ever-so-convenient, reliably consistent over-roasted Starbucks while waiting for Ben’s flight to land. Moa (think Bob Marley meets hardcore kid) and I was catching up on how much can take place in the span of three years since last seeing each other. Only moments into our catch-up conversation we were approached by a young Brazilian man selling candy and trinkets. Moah asked the man to have a seat and purchased a pack of Halls. In Portuguese, he and “Johnny” began a discourse occasionally interrupted to fill me in. Johnny had just been released from prison for drug use and was trying to get his life back in order.

While sitting there, two thoughts came to me. The first was that Johnny had a left knee issue and the second was that he had some type of upper respiratory problem. I asked Moa to translate my thoughts to questions. Surprised, Johnny shared how before being arrested he had been scheduled for a left knee surgery which had not happened. His knee was still hurting and proving problematic. His lungs/breathing felt mostly fine in the moment though he commented about how they had bothered him in connection to drugs he had been using.

We prayed for the knee and lungs. He tested his knee and was excited to feel no pain or tightness. We began asking about his heart and whether he had a friendship with Jesus. In primarily Catholic countries nearly everyone understands the idea of Jesus at least on a religious level. We continued asking pointed questions about trusting in and following Jesus. At one point I asked what he possibly had to lose. If Jesus were who we were claiming, Johnny would know it, and his life would change. If we were not speaking truth, he’d forget us and never think twice. My line of reasoning seemed to connect with Johnny. He took our hands and invited Jesus to be his friend and savior. We asked how he felt. Brazilians are naturally expressive, and Johnny was exceptionally so. He motioned with his arms to express a lightning of a burden, the lifting of a heavy load. Then Moa translated into English what I had already understood in flailing arms.

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus opens doors for me to travel new places—or do things period—simply because He knows I’ll meet a Johnny. My prayer continues to be, “Jesus, please help me to love one person today as you would love them.” Some days I don’t see that prayer answered, but there are other days where I stand stunned at the colossal magnitude of God’s kindness.

We need not be afraid to place ourselves less comfortably than we desire. Right now there are people in our communities, churches, families, cities - desperate to experience the love of God.

Is Jesus leading you to love the unloved? Will you go to them? Fear not. Jesus has overcome political parties, world leaders, disgruntled social media posts, prison, drug addiction, weak knees, troubled breathing and souls distant like mine.

Related items

  • Episode 63: Porn Shows and Fifty Shades Darker with Craig Gross
    Craig Gross is our guest on the podcast, discussing how XXX Church had its start and what God has been doing through his ministry. The conversation heats up, however, when the regulars bring up one of Craig’s recent Facebook posts, and raise the question of how deeply we can immerse ourselves in a scene without being corrupted by it.
  • If the Apostle Paul Had a Band - Part 6 (Finale)
    And so we come to the end - the fourth and final chapter of Philippians. The story of Paul starting this church in Philippi was like that of a band on a very intense tour: he was doing concerts in a prison, had people heckling him in street performances, got beaten up, and eventually started a church with a fashion designer called Lydia, an ex-demon possessed girl, and a prison warden.
  • Episode 61: Shane Claiborne on Melting Guns and Living a Radical Gospel Life.
    Join the Provoke & Inspire regulars for a weird, wild, fantastic interview with Christian activist & best-selling author, Shane Claiborne. We cover topics as broad as melting guns into tools, mewithoutYou, living to serve others, and representing Jesus to the poor and marginalized. This is an episode you don’t want to miss!
  • Artist Interview: Jharmaine Boyd
    I recently had the opportunity to speak with Come&Live! artist Jharmaine Boyd, about being a performance artist for Jesus in Chicago. It was so encouraging to hear the many different ways God has moved in her life, and is continuing to develop her art. Both her perspective and her passion for the Cross are so refreshing, and we're excited to have her as part of our artist community!
  • Come&Live! Artist Tour Report: Sobre Todo Nombre in Norway
    Sobre Todo Nombre recently returned from a short tour in Norway, where they played gigs in two different clubs in Kristiansand and Oslo. The last time they played in the country, they were told that unless they refrained from preaching the Gospel, they wouldn't be able to play again in a local venue in Kristiansand - yet somehow they were invited back again.
Come&Live!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE digital copy of "Revolutionary, Ten Principles That Will Empower Christian Artists to Change the World" by David Pierce.

Country
Please wait