Like many people, this past Sunday morning in church I read the Bible on my iPhone. It’s convenient because I have three small children, and carrying a Bible in addition to diaper bags and my children can be unnecessarily life-altering, though there is the temptation to check Facebook, Twitter, or email in between Scripture readings. But the Bible is there, and it’s compact enough to put in my pocket. I can read it anytime I want. And that is thanks to Steve Jobs, a remarkable innovator who passed away last week.
Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer, an innovator himself, made an interesting observation about Jobs’ impact on the world. Humanity once lived in a world where access to the Bible was scarce. Now, people all over the world who own iPhones or iPads have access to the Bible completely free at any given moment. All you have to do is click on the app store, select the Bible you want, and you’re free to totally immerse yourself in God’s Word. Not only that, but Bible study resources are just a click away as well. Not to mention the ability to listen to the podcasts of some of the greatest Bible teachers in the world.
Steve Jobs himself wasn’t a follower of Jesus, yet he completely changed the world in a way that has allowed the message of Jesus to be spread broader than ever before. None of us will know if Jobs himself came to understand who Jesus was in the moments before he died. I tend to think that the imminent presence of a person’s death would cause them to seriously evaluate what’s on the other side, and it may be that Jesus shines brighter than ever before in those moments, but I could be totally wrong. Nevertheless, we’ll probably never really grasp the crucial role that Steve Jobs played in redemptive history.
But we also have a crucial role to play, one that we may not fully understand until all is said and done. God is working in the world to establish his kingdom in the hearts of humanity, and it’s always great to see him doing it through brilliant human innovation. With prayerful intentionality, we have to keep developing new and deeply effective ways to spread the message of Jesus, so that people that need it may grasp it and experience firsthand God’s innovation on their hearts.
What are some innovative ways you can think of that God’s redemptive message may spread in the future?