Last week I was blessed to be able to go on a cruise with one of my boys. This cruise was the Jesus Freak 2017 cruise. The Christian band, DC Talk, had reunited after a 16 year hiatus for a one week cruise tour. They set up the cruise with several other bands, Newsboys, Hollyn, Capital Kings, Ryan Stevenson, and Finding Favor.
For anyone not familiar with the band, DC Talk, they had started out in 1987 and performed until 2000. During that time they became one of the most popular Christian bands of all time. Their music was one of a mix of rap and rock in each song. The band was known for being bold in talking about Jesus and pointing people to Jesus. They wanted their message to be one about the gospel message.
One of the songs that they came out with was, “Jesus Freak.” It was their most popular song and portrayed their hearts.
One of the lines in that song is: “What if people think when they hear that I’m a Jesus freak? What will people do when they find that its true?”
The term “freak”, to be used to describe a person is not a popular term to be used in today’s society. It would probably be listed as a politically incorrect term.
Freak has the meaning of a very unusual and unexpected event or situation. It can also mean a person, plant or animal with an unusual physical abnormality.
Adding the term freak with Jesus, makes an interesting combination. What exactly is a “Jesus Freak”?
It is the idea that one is very unusual in following Jesus. They are abnormal from all the other people. It is a very unusual and unexpected situation in life.
Take a look at the life of Jesus. He was a different type of person when He walked on this earth. Another line in this song is: “People say I’m a strange, does that make me a stranger? My best friend was born in a manger.”
Think about this: Jesus came to this world to save the world and be king of this world. Yet, the method of coming in this world was not normal. He was not born in the palace, or even in the hospital as most people were. He was royalty and yet, was born in a manger, a place for animals, not kings.
Jesus talked about loving your enemies, instead of fighting them. He tells you to bless those who curse you. These statements go against the thoughts and ways of most of the world. The world says that you have a right to fight against your enemies and that it is acceptable to curse those who do you wrong.
Along with some of the strange teachings that Jesus taught, He also died on a cross. Why would a person die who wanted to save everyone else? How can He save everyone by dying? By the world’s methods of doing things, Jesus was a freak, which is part of the reason why they chose to crucify Him.
Jesus was one who followed God with all of His heart, soul, mind and strength. He was sold-out to God. This made Him a freak, an unusual and strange person in this world.
Those who follow Him are also strange. Why would someone want to follow someone who died nearly 2,000 years ago? Why would someone want to follow someone who was strange and said to love and bless his enemies?
The whole reason Jesus was a freak was because of love. The reason a person is willing to follow Jesus is because of love. God’s love is the best thing that there is in all of this great universe. God has the best in mind for every person.
Now going back to the song about the line saying that he is a Jesus freak. What makes a person a Jesus freak?
Take a look around you and you will probably see a lot of people who claim to be Christian. Some churches have a lot of people in them. Yet, at the same time, take a look around you and watch how many of these same people act in this world. How do they treat each other? How do they treat their enemies?
The sad part is that most do not treat others with the same love that Jesus shows them. Christians are often known for acting and looking just like everyone else in this world. They do not stand out as different.
The few people who do stand out as extremists for Jesus are rare. They are seen as radicals and crazies–Jesus Freaks.
When a person comes out in this way in this world, the world will rise up against them, just as the world rose up against Jesus when He walked on this earth. Today the term used is usually politically incorrect, or extremists. This will even occur within the church. Very few people live as an extremist for Jesus. It is highly unusual to see someone live wholeheartedly for God, abandoning their own life and ways to follow God–thus a Jesus Freak.
Take a look at your own life and see how you are living. Are you living for yourself? Or are you living for God?
Are you concerned with what people think or what they will do if you live sold-out to God?
Allow yourself to be sold-out to God. See what God can do in and through you when you live in the same way that Jesus did. As a believer in Jesus, you are to live, talk and act just as He did. Everything that Jesus said and did was what God wanted Him to say and do.
Just as Jesus was a stranger in this world, so are you. This world is not your final home, you are just a stranger passing through.
Are you a Jesus Freak?
May the final words of that song be yours: “I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak, there ain’t no disguising the truth.”
As for the cruise, it was an awesome cruise! It was amazing to see 4,000 people all being excited about serving and loving God. They were not ashamed of the gospel message. It was awesome to hear the various Christian bands proclaiming God loud and clear for five days.
I was able to talk with many people from all over the world and hear many great testimonies of what God is doing or has done in their life. It was encouraging to hear. God is alive and being served in this world by many, though not the majority.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
This is a very tough passage to read and accept. This is a passage most people would like to just skip past, but God has it here for a reason. No one dares to skip past these verses.
How many times have you just come out of some excellent revival services at church only to be blasted by some troubles in life? The car breaks down; a child gets seriously sick; you lose your job; and your rent is due, all at the same. How frustrating is that? Often many believers will wonder why all this is happening to them. They feel they are serving God correctly and bringing Him honor, why all the trouble? Yet this occurs to every believer, even Jesus himself. Jesus said you will have troubles in this world. It is not something strange or unique to you.
Peter then tells you to rejoice as you participate in the sufferings of Christ. You must count it with joy as you go through struggles. Why would this be? All suffering (troubles) are meant for your good. They are meant to make you more like Jesus. Satan does not want you to succeed at all, he wants you to fall. He will do anything he can to make you fall; this includes bringing trouble into your life.
Jesus went through the worst of struggles, yet He went through them with joy, because He knew it was for the best. The struggles you are going through are only for your best. In the end when Jesus returns you will be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. He will get all the glory for your coming through shining as gold. You will be excited that He is glorified.
Ask God to change your heart and mind about the struggles you are going through from day-to-day. Look at them as light and momentary troubles compared to what you will get in the end. Rejoice in what you are going through.
I pray that today God will give you strength to rejoice in your struggles; that God will strengthen you to go through your struggles; that God will help you be His shining example in this world; and that God will use you to build His kingdom by your example of following Jesus.