Do you smell good for Jesus?

Do you smell good for Jesus?

Reflections from the field | Do you smell good for Jesus?

There’s something Aussies love – a good BBQ! The tasty smell of sizzling sausages and onions invites friendship, comfort and conversation. Even the smell of a BBQ while on a walk around the neighbourhood or local park entices me to wish I were there too! Smell can have a profound impact on us.  Have you ever considered how you smell for Jesus? 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 encourages us to smell good for Jesus,

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing’.

Are we actually smelling good for Jesus? In what ways are we spreading the knowledge of Him everywhere?

One man who was drawn to the fragrance of Jesus was Zacchaeus. I am struck by the exchange that unfolds in Luke 19:1-10. Zacchaeus was seeking to see who Jesus was – so eager was he that he ran ahead and climbed a tree! I wonder what Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus to spark his keen interest. What was it that he saw in Jesus that he liked?

What do you think outsiders are drawn to when they are in our presence? Think of those who associate with you at your workplace, your neighbourhood, at the school yard while waiting to pick up the kids, at footy training – what smell are you giving off? Is it the kind of aroma that people find pleasantly sweet and refreshing that reflects the knowledge of God in you?

Jesus was always followed by crowds. People were drawn to Him for various reasons. In this account, Luke tells us that ‘when Jesus came to the place (of the tree where Zacchaeus climbed), He looked up…’.  Jesus knew this little man was seeking to see Him and took time to stop to notice. Is there someone in your everyday spheres of life that God wants you to notice? Maybe someone who always seems to seek you out for a chat, or is unusually brighter when they see you? Maybe they are one seeking to get closer to the smell of Jesus from you.

How do we then move from being one who smells good for Jesus, to one who shares the knowledge of God with them?

We can learn how to do this from how Jesus extended friendship to Zacchaeus.  Jesus knew exactly who Zacchaeus was – everyone did. He was the despised Chief Tax Collector who was known for taking advantage of people. Jesus could have confronted Zacchaeus before the crowd with a rebuke and gained the regard of all who were there. But He didn’t. Rather, Jesus showed a willingness to enter into this man’s life,

Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”

Sometimes we can be quick to point out a person’s sin or need for Jesus rather than give them time and grace to discover that for themselves.  We read further into Luke 19 that a radical transformation begins to happen when Jesus spends time with Zacchaeus.

How are you being a good smell for Jesus? Is your ‘spiritual BBQ’ welcoming of those like Zacchaeus? Is it time you did a body odour check to see how you can smell better for Jesus?  Ask the Lord today to help you be His sweet aroma, and begin noticing who He brings to you who is ready for the knowledge of God.

Jane Sheppard, community engager with The Navigators

One Comment

  1. Mike Johnson

    Your article helped me consider to what extent my lifestyle/values are attractive to others so that they’d want to get closer. I think of Colossians 4:5-6: ‘walk in wisdom toward outsiders making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.’
    People attracted to our love and graciousness will give much more weight to the cause of our gracious character and the transforming power that has produced this. Someone Zacchaeus admired from a distance gave him personal attention, public respect and valued his life with dignity. Who would not respectfully consider his message?

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