Bobby Chaw: The Believer Is The Message
The Christian faith has flesh and bones—it is embodied in believers, taught executive pastor Bobby Chaw recently.
On May 6 and 7, following his earlier message “The Road To Emmaus”, City Harvest Church’s executive pastor Bobby Chaw, continued his teaching on the disciples’ experiences in Luke 24:33-49.
Chaw picked up where he left off on the two disciples who had turned back from Emmaus and returned to Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem, by then, had become a dangerous place to be in,” Chaw said. Now that Jesus had been crucified, many were seeking to quench the faith of His followers.
As the two disciples met with their fellow believers, Jesus Himself came in the midst of them (Luke 24:36). He showed them His hands and feet, and told them to “touch Me and see”. Chaw explained that Jesus was showing the disciples that He was not a figment of their imagination—He was real.
Drawing from John 1, Chaw reminded the congregation that “the Word did not just remain in a galaxy far far away. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) Our Christian faith is not just about studying the Bible—it is a real experience. It has hands and feet, and flesh and bones. Jesus is the living faith who came to dwell among His people. Therefore, to be like Christ, we must give the faith hands and feet and flesh and bones, and become doers of the Word of God (Luke 6:46-49).”
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FISH
Returning to the story in Luke 24:41, Chaw noted that the disciples gave Jesus fish when He asked for food. “Why fish and not bread?” Chaw asked rhetorically, adding that there were two notable “fish experiences”.
In Luke 9, Jesus was reminding the disciples to be doers of the Word when he fed the 5,000. Though the disciples’ first instinct had been to send the crowds away, Jesus showed them that when they gave the little that they had to Him, it became much. Chaw encouraged the congregation that if they were to give the Word hands and feet, flesh and bones, it would manifest in power.
Another encounter of significance took place in Luke 5, where Jesus told the disciples, “From now on you will be fishers of men”. It was a reminder that Jesus had come to seek and save the lost, and likewise, the first calling of a believer is to be fishers of men.
THE MESSENGER, THE MESSAGE
How do we become fishers of men? Not by shoving the Bible down others’ throats, said Chaw. He shared a story of how he had reached out to the mother of a graduate of the School of Theology. Qiu Yu Jia’s mother did not like Christianity but she could sense that since accepting Christ, her daughter had become happier and more positive.
Chaw went to visit Qiu’s mother at her home and answered her many questions about God. Before he left, he invited her to a service he would be preaching at, and she agreed. When she accepted Christ at the end of the service, Chaw was overjoyed. She later told Chaw that she had not understood what he had preached, but she still believed in God. Chaw recalled: “She said, ‘Yes I believe in Jesus because I believe in you. Because you don’t know me and you have never met me. Yet in your busy schedule, you are willing to make time and come to my home and talked to me about God. I see flesh and bones, and I see hands feet, and I believe in Jesus because I believe in you.’”
“Friends, the message is the messenger, and the messenger is the message,” Chaw concluded.
Chaw brought the attention of the congregation back to Luke 24:44-48, where Jesus commissioned the disciples to be His witnesses. Chaw highlighted the differences between eye-witnesses and witnesses, telling the congregation that “witnesses” were people on a mission. They are those who are willing to speak the message, to live by the message, to be the message, even at the risk of being challenged, opposed or ridiculed. A witness decides to be faithful in spite of circumstances.
When he was a young man, Chaw’s family was in debt, but he continued giving to God out of the little that he had, even though he was surviving on only one meal each day. His mother, who was not a believer then, thought he was crazy, even more so after he tried to defend his giving by sharing Malachi 3 with her. But when his family came out of bankruptcy after a short few years, his mother saw that God had indeed been faithful. She passed Chaw and envelop of cash and told him, “Please give this to your God, and tell your God, ‘Thank you.’”
Chaw also shared about Petro Kibe, a Japanese Christian. The samurais in Edo caught and tortured him. Yet even when they heaped coal on his stomach and he was burned alive, Kibe refused to renounce Christ.
A witness never gives up and he never gives in. Jesus Christ was the faithful witness (Revelation 1:5). He was faithful to the point of death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). “It is difficult, but it is not impossible,” Chaw said.
“By the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us; by living out the Christ-life, manifesting the real presence of Jesus Christ, we too can be faithful witnesses,” he concluded.
by Chloe Chua