Some people personally know Jesus Christ, the Son of God. If you don’t know Him, He’s the resurrected Savior of all who will believe on His Name. Some have heard of a man named Bubba Watson. If you don’t know him, he recently won The 2012 Master’s Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
In fact, if you know one of these men, you know the other. It’s biblically obvious that every person from every nation is created in the image of God. So, in some way, Bubba Watson represents who Jesus is. After learning more about Bubba Watson’s testimony of how Jesus has completely transformed his life and priorities, every person has the opportunity to know the good grace of Jesus himself. No, Jesus and Bubba are not the same person. In fact, Bubba’s witness would never exist if it weren’t for Jesus to begin with. Jesus has done to Bubba what we pray Jesus will do to every person in every nation: do away with the old person before accepting Christ as personal Savior and Lord so He can change us into His likeness all the way into heaven.
Bubba Watson’s Twitter profile says, “Christian. Husband. Daddy. Pro Golfer. Owner of General Lee 1.” In a recent interview, Watson is quoted saying, “For me, it is just showing the Light. There are people who want to put down Christians. I try to tell them Jesus loves you. It is just a way to be strong in my faith.” His witness of Jesus and biblical truth is so prominent through his social media accounts that over one hundred followers and fans asked to be removed from “following” Bubba the week of The Masters. Instead of getting upset, Bubba answered each of them personally and wished them well with goodbye notes.
Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.” In Matthew 5:14-16, He also said, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Of the seven I AM statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John, this is the only time where Jesus says, “I AM” and then in Matthew said, “You are” on the same topic. Only Jesus can be the bread of life; the door; the good shepherd; the resurrection and the life; the way, the truth, and the life; and the true vine. But He says that you and I are also to be the “light of the world.”
How do we let our light shine before others? I am profoundly grateful for the strong, clear testimony of Jesus Christ by people like Bubba Watson. I pray he wins many more golf tournaments so he can talk boldly about Jesus. I pray He keeps His pure, simple witness for Jesus strong. There are people around you and me who desperately need the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. You don’t need to be a golf pro to witness for Jesus. You might look good in a green jacket, but that won’t necessarily make you a better representative of the real Master. What Jesus needs is a world full of “Bubbas” who are so full of Him that His life-transforming love and grace ooze out of their lives on a daily basis, no matter what kind of trophies they may or may not win on earth.
Jesus, Bubba, and you: “The light of the world.”
Dr. Jim Dunn is General Director of Spiritual Formation for The Wesleyan Church.