Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges. This week’s topic is part of our series called Jesus Is… where we’re trying to learn about the identity of Jesus, through studying some key stories in the Bible.

Our daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus, even if you don’t have a lot of time. We have a rhythm that keeps us in sync, even if we’re not a community that meets together in person regularly. Every Monday we introduce the week’s idea. Every Tuesday we study it in the Bible. Every Wednesday we see how that challenges and transforms our thinking on the topic. Thursdays we try to apply and live it out. Friday is a day for prayer and reflection before we take a rest on Saturday, and Sundays we meet together with others in community.

Did you watch Making a Murderer?

This documentary that aired on Netflix this January was a surprise hit. Its ten episodes focus on the story of Steven Avery, a man wrongfully convicted and exonerated of a serious crime, only to be arrested and accused of a murder just a short time later. From episode to episode I would flip flop between suspecting the police of a frame job, and suspecting Mr. Avery of these awful crimes.

I first heard about the show on Facebook, as I saw one, then a handful, then all kinds of people I knew posting about their experiences, or outright addictions to the show.

This is the world we live in now – a world where a simple documentary based on courtroom video and prison telephone recordings can become incredibly popular through the power of social media.

Of course, this is nothing new, we’ve always had worth of mouth! It just happens so much more quickly now, thanks to technology and innovative marketing ideas.

Jesus and his teaching went viral in their own way – he gathered da few followers, and then when he began his public ministry of healing and teaching, people started to gather around, repeat what they’d heard so others could hear as well, and then to spread the messaging to neighbours, friends and family.

Much slower process of course, but still a surprising pace. Within three years, he’d attracted the attention (albeit negative) of the High Priests in Jerusalem, and with a few year of his death, a follower of Jesus was preaching about him in the Emperor’s city of Rome.

Question: What have you seen “go viral” over the years? What do you remember gaining popularity rapidly before social media?