It’s a hot, dry afternoon in Jerusalem. Jesus strolls through a busy marketplace. All of sudden, he reaches under his robe, grabs his phone and snaps a pic of the crowd. #beautifulday. A few minutes later, Jesus tweets where he will speak next. The moment he posts, a Pharisee comments, calling Jesus a heretic. Jesus favorites the Pharisee’s comment.
As crowds gather on a hillside, Peter opens his camera app. He shows a few disciples a video where Jesus casts a demon out of a man. Andrew responds, “Dude, you have to put that on YouTube. It will have a million views tonight.”
Thomas looks at Andrew and says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
This scenario sounds crazy, right? But have you ever considered how Jesus would respond to social media? How would the son of God interact with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Would he SnapChat his disciples? Would he upload all of his sermons to YouTube?
In short, I believe Jesus would engage on social media. Jesus valued spaces where people of all backgrounds gathered. For Jesus, that space was the marketplace. Of his 132 public appearances, 122 had a marketplace context. The four gospels record Jesus telling 52 parables; 45 had a marketplace context.
Social media is the modern-day marketplace. People from all backgrounds are on social media. Lives are shared. Important theological and social issues are discussed. Culture is shaped. News is broken.
So, if Jesus valued spaces where people gathered, why aren’t more Christians on social media?
Here are a few responses I receive. “I just don’t see the point. Every time I get on Facebook or Twitter, some uninformed idiot posts a stupid remark, and I get mad.”
If you’re a Christian, I want to challenge you to consider how you use social media and why you use it. Millions of people spend time on some social media platform. Christians need to be there.
We don’t need to be there picking fights or ranting about the latest decision from the government. We don’t need to be there comparing our lives to others. We need to be there with intentionality. We need to engage social media like Jesus would.
Here are six ways Jesus would engage social media.
1.) Jesus would engage social media with a purpose, not as a means to pass the time.
You can disagree with me on whether Jesus would be on social media. But here’s what you can’t disagree with. If Jesus were on social media, he would have a purpose. He wouldn’t troll around Facebook or Twitter. He wouldn’t use social media to pass the time. He wouldn’t inject his thoughts on the President or the state of the church.
When Jesus opened Facebook, Twitter or SnapChat, he would have one goal: to point people to God.