What Elon Musk, Nicodemus and you have in common
A rather unexpected interview recently took place.
The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, sat down with a media outlet and answered every question they threw at him. Musk did not sit down with The New York Times, CNN or even Fox News. He gave this 90-minute interview to the Christian satirical site, The Babylon Bee.
The Bee is best known for its tongue-in-cheek humor and commentary on the Church and, more recently, political controversy. When the outlet discovered Musk followed them on Twitter, they decided to ask for the seemingly impossible. Much to The Babylon Bee’s shock and delight, Musk agreed with the condition the outlet came to him. So they did.
In his interview, the famous billionaire opined on space travel, “woke” culture, electric cars, and more. Then, unexpectedly, Creative Director Ethan Nicolle asked Elon Musk if he would like to accept Jesus Christ as his “personal Lord and Savior.”
The question caught Musk off guard. He pondered the question, talking about his respect and agreement with many of the principles of wisdom that marked the life of Christ, including ‘turning the other cheek.’ Musk asserted, “Einstein would say, ‘I believe in the God of Spinoza.’"
Here he is quoting Albert Einstein who is believed to have once said, “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”
But Scripture makes it clear that God is intimately involved in our day-to-day lives and has a unique plan motivated by love for each of us.
God Himself says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11).
Expounding on his response, Musk explained the importance of forgiveness, treating others as you wish to be treated, and loving your neighbor as you love yourself. He added, “If Jesus is saving people, I won’t stand in His way.”
Although his concept of God is not completely in line with Scripture, I was very impressed with Elon Musk’s intelligence and thoughtfulness before answering this and many other questions. In my opinion, the man is a genius. You can watch the entire conversation with Elon Musk here.
This interview reminded me of a similar conversation that Jesus had with a very influential man named Nicodemus. He did not serve as the face of electric cars or shoot rockets into space like Elon Musk, but he was known and respected by many. We could not have chosen a better representative of mankind to interact with Jesus. This interaction was effectively a conversation between God and man.
It happened at night, most likely so Nicodemus could remain unseen because he was supposed to have all the answers.
But he didn’t.
Jesus was straightforward with Nicodemus. He said in no uncertain terms, “You must be born again” (John 3:3).
Nicodemus thought Jesus was being literal and questioned how he could go back into his mother’s womb. Jesus made it even more explicit when he gave the most well-known statement in all Scripture. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, and whosever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
Because we all have sinned and broken His commandments and fallen short of His very high standards, but Jesus died for our sins. He came to pay a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. When Jesus died on the cross, he bore the sins of the world. He died for you and me, both the richest man in the world and the poorest.
He died for the famous, the infamous and the unknown.
He died for every man and woman.
Now, it’s our move.
To be saved, which means to be forgiven of your sins, you must believe, not by mere intellectual assent, but by putting your faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone, turning from your sins and following Him. And if you believe, Jesus promises that you will have everlasting life.
I want Elon Musk and anyone else reading this to know that truth. Where we will spend the afterlife is really the most important issue we will deal with in this life.
Nicodemus ultimately did believe in Jesus. I pray that Elon Musk and everyone else reading this will, like Nicodemus, come to a complete understanding of the Gospel of Jesus. No matter what sins you have committed, God can and will forgive you.
Greg Laurie is the pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California and Hawaii and of Harvest Crusades. He is an evangelist, best-selling author and movie producer. His new book World Changers: How God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things (Baker Books), releases Sept. 1.