To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law... that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Paul was an actor. Think about it. The world's greatest evangelist, the former bad guy, the traveling apostle, the one who was heckled and heralded, the one who wrote the majority of the New Testament. Yes, that Paul. He was an actor. He played to every audience in the role they needed to see, the role assigned to Him by God--that his audience might believe in the Savior Who sent him.
Paul played the debating intellectual to arrogant Greeks. He played the brilliant Pharisee to religious Jews. He played the industrious tentmaker to working men and women. He played the cheerful prisoner to hard-pressed Romans. He played the defense attorney to fascinated kings.
He played the stoic encourager to a storm-tossed crew. He played the tough guy to fearful island natives. He played the angry parent to disobedient congregations. He played the soothing father to discouraged disciples. He played the testimony of his own come-to-Jesus meeting over and over--to show that even the worst sinner can be saved.
To us he says, 'Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ' (1 Corinthians 11:1). That's acting. And the One he's acting like is Jesus. Paul set the stage for God's performers in the missionary movement of actors, models and talent for Christ. He shows us how to find common ground with each audience: how God transforms us from glory to glory, from scene to scene, from show to show.
Because our job is to show off Christ. Excelling on stage is like a beautiful lure thrown into water; it's the art of the fly fisherman. We're casting His Rod for the lost, for those swimming close to the surface, for those seeking the light of day.
But excelling off stage is where the real action is. It's where fish become men: men who make a choice of head and heart whether to follow our King. This is the role of actors, models and talent for Christ: to impress people by your performance in the grocery store or the waiting room--in ordinary and extraordinary life situations where most people act bad, but God's performers act good.
Only then do they want to know the reason for the Hope you carry.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Who Do People Say That I Am? series.