Dr. Fauci, Jesus, and Your Fulfillment in Life
When the CDC needed a credible spokesperson for its public awareness campaign against COVID, it chose Anthony Fauci, an Italian-American who grew up in Brooklyn. Fauci is a doctor and researcher who was director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for 35 years and the adviser of every president since Reagan.
What happened next? Millions got vaccinated. Millions of others didn’t. Dr. Fauci was seen by one side as a reliable public adviser, giving us the most scientific take on the problem. He was seen by the other side as a hired, politically motivated manipulator, Public Enemy #1, trying to con us or scare us into accepting a questionable injection that included a known poison plus unknown consequences in the long term.
It's a free country. Nobody got arrested or fined for failing to get a COVID shot, though many got hassled in other ways, such as being forced into early retirement or laid off. But everybody got reminded of the messy way that public awareness campaigns depend on credibility of the point person, whether that is Dr. Fauci, Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, Smokey Bear, or whomever.
The Theory Behind Public Awareness Campaigns
An authority or organization tries to win the willing cooperation of the public by building awareness of a particular campaign message. The campaign promoter either does not have the authority to force the change or does not use that authority, opting for persuasion instead. Persuasion is complicated because the message is initially questioned or rejected by many.
Jesus understood all this perfectly. God, the highest Authority in the universe, designed the world’s greatest public awareness campaign and made Jesus the point person. That is basically what “Messiah” or “Christ” means—point person, literally a person “anointed” (appointed and officially installed) to play a particular leading role.
As campaign designer, God obviously had the authority to force Jesus onto humanity but chose to use a public awareness campaign instead. He was out to win hearts, not mere compliance.
The Messiah proclaimed the campaign manifesto in his home town (Luke 4:18-21), and he declared that spreading the campaign message was the reason he had been sent to earth (Luke 4.43). He constantly talked like a campaign recruiter, “Follow me!” He never budged from the central campaign message, the arrival of God’s reign on earth—God taking power!
The campaign did not go the way you and I would have expected—Jesus got killed for leading it! But God’s ways are not our ways. God arranged things so his death would propel the campaign forward instead of ending it, and Jesus now follows through by building the credibility of his global team of campaign spokespeople.
Here’s what happened: Jesus’s campaign electrified the country, climaxing in an impromptu parade welcoming him into the capital, Jerusalem, at the beginning of what we might call “National Freedom Week” (a.k.a. Passover). But like Dr. Fauci, Jesus had some enemies who saw him as Public Enemy #1.
Jesus’s enemies saw him as a false “messiah” who had no real power, only the power to sway crowds of gullible common people. They thought he was poised to turn his peaceful followers loose for a peasant revolt against the Roman Empire, which would bring disaster and destruction on the Jewish nation.
They tried to discredit him as a teacher, but that backfired. As a last resort they conspired with Rome to get him condemned for claiming to be the Messiah. He was beaten to a bloody pulp and crucified, literally hung out to dry. Some Messiah!
On the third day following Jesus’s horrible death, God the Father vindicated him as the point person of the campaign and raised him from the grave. We might expect that at this point in the story, God would end the public awareness campaign and switch to in-your-face tactics. He could have sent Jesus back to the court that condemned him to say, “Can you hear me now? Listen as I declare my verdict about you!”
But again God’s tactics are not ours. He kept the campaign going as a campaign of persuasion with the risen Jesus directing it. The vindicated King, newly enthroned in heaven, sent his Holy Spirit down into his followers, giving them a connection with him and his power.
That act took their credibility to a whole new level. From then on, their witness was more than eyewitness testimony to a past event, his resurrection. It was testimony to a powerfully present reality that proved the past event, a spiritual reality that turned each of them into a different kind of human being, aligned with the Messiah and empowered to be a credible spokesperson for his campaign.
What About Your Role—Your Fulfillment?
Now, we want to connect the dots between the campaign and your fulfillment in life. Jesus made a campaign promise: throw your life into his campaign and you will find your fulfillment; stay preoccupied with your own personal quest for fulfillment and you will never find it. (Luke 9.24)
Jesus wants you to find your fulfillment in life by becoming a credible spokesperson for his campaign! And how is that supposed to happen? Jesus, the campaign leader who gave his life for the cause, puts his Spirit into us. His Spirit gives us our campaign assignments and everything it takes to carry them out. As we do, we discover authentic fulfillment.
It will look a little different for each of us, but the variety of our empowerment stories corroborates the claim of the campaign—the Messiah is still alive, still tailoring our campaign assignments, still showing his power through us, still giving us the kind of fulfillment that is beyond human achievement.
That is what SYNC [See Yourself iN Christ] celebrates and promotes during Power Season, which in 2023 is from May 18th through August 6th.
Want a more fulfilled life? Listen more carefully to the Spirit of Jesus for the campaign assignments with your name on them. Check out the tools in the Power Season tool kit to help you listen, act, and enjoy making more of a difference in life than you ever thought you could.