How to define Jesus Christ

Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2020

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

How do you introduce someone you know to a stranger?

I joined the U.S. Naval Academy Gospel Choir while I was a student there. I will never forget this particular song we sang titled “Stranger,” by Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers. The song lyrics shared several of the miracles that Jesus performed on the earth. When we sang the song in concert, our choir director instructed us to sing and act as though we were spreading gossip about all the things we heard Jesus had done. We pointed to the audience and pretended to whisper in our neighbors’ ears. It was fun to act and sing. During the vamp of the song, it asks a very poignant question. “Do you know the man?” The message of the song conveyed the difference between whether you know the man outside of the deeds he has done. To those who are just talking about what Jesus has done, he is a stranger.

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Imagine that you have the responsibility of introducing our Savior before an assembly of millions of gathered spectators. What would you say? Consider your own personal testimony about Jesus. How much of what you would share in your introduction would consist of the things Jesus has done for you?

There is nothing wrong with being grateful for all that the Lord has done in our lives. He is good. We should tell about his goodness and wonderful acts. Isaiah 63:7 in the New International Version states, “I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us — yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.” Yet, the deeds don’t do justice to the definition of who He is. There is so much more to Him than deeds.

We have often heard it said that we are not defined by what we do. We are constantly emphasizing that value and purpose are separate from employment and giftings. So if that is the case with us, can that same frame of mind apply to Jesus? Should we only introduce Him by His occupation?

If I were introducing my husband to an old friend for the very first time, it would be awkward to introduce him by sharing with her all of the things my husband does at work. My friend would want to know more about our story: how we met, how we relate to each other, how we spend our time and what is so special about him. Once I share our story, then she gets a sense of him as a person through the eyes of someone who loves him. That is how we should define Jesus Christ: through the eyes of our relationship with Him.

Recently, I was praying and I realized that 60 percent of my praise perennials, which are statements that I constantly say during my personal devotion time that remind me of the Lord’s goodness, mention what the Lord has done in my life. (Dr. Clarence McPherson coined the term “praise perennials” in a sermon he preached at my church, Covenant Community Church). I felt the Lord was asking me whether I knew Him by what He does or for who He is?

Jesus is always on the job. I think the world knows the work He does. The unbelievers are not moved by His resume as much as they are moved by His referrals. Referrals can only be given from those who know Him well. Tell the co-worker how Jesus is your brother and makes you laugh when you thought you were going to give someone a piece of your mind. Tell her how He’s a priest because He listens to your confessions every day and He loves you still. People think they know who He is because they read and hear about His miracles. Those who really do not know Him are waiting for you to define Him in ways that give them a clear picture of the person of Jesus Christ.


QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via or via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.