"Try Jesus" - Johnny Lever (Film Actor)
King of comedy, Junior Charlie Chaplin, India's gift to the nation, extremely talented ASLAM BHAI - these are the few words that go by in addressing Johnny Lever. Covered more than 300 films, he has two prestigious film fare awards to his credit.
Today Johnny is one of the most highly respected and highly paid comedians in Indian film industry.
Johnny shares the goodness in knowing Jesus Christ in an exclusive interview with C.B.N India.
"I am originally from the south India. My father used to work for Hindustan Lever Ltd so we got settled in Mumbai. My actual name was John Rao and I've done my schooling from Andhra educational society. Though I was not a very bright student I used to manage to get through my exams. Ours was a Christian family but as far as I am concerned I was just a nominal one. I was a Christian mainly on Christmas and Easter days. Jesus was just a friend for me, remembered only in times of trouble."
"Right from my childhood I was a very free and friendly person. I never took life seriously. I was more a social person and I used take every God as my God and every festival as my festival. Freaking out with friends was one of my favorite pass times and as a result my father found that I was slowly loosing track in life - so he put me in a job at Hindustan Lever Ltd as an employee. Even at my work placeI was always making fun, cracking jokes and also used to do some plays for my co-workers at lunch breaks and other free times. Many used to watch me doing those plays and at the end they would all come and congratulate me. Most of them said, “Johnny you are extremely talented, why don't you try your luck in films?”. This statement started to ring in my mind very often.
"I signed my first movie in 1975 and in the year 1981, I left Hindustan Lever Ltd. I changed my name from John Rao to Johnny Lever and from then I never looked back. Success after success followed and finally it became my surname. I made a lot of money and network. I had a status in the society. I along with my family lived a costly life, enjoying every thing on earth. I had so much of network that once I did a play on National Anthem which was actually against the law and as a result I was arrested and put to prison but believe me that I had a royal treatment. Many of my fans stepped in; the police received many phone calls from film and political celebrities asking them not to touch me. I personally received many wishes and flowers asking me not to worry. On the third day I got the bail and I was out."
"After such incidents, I always felt that my money, my status and my network of friends can help me at every situation of life. Every day we had a party irrespective of the reason. It came to such an extent that if I was out of work I was with a bottle. Life went on just the same with success and party but every thing got toiled on one node i.e. when my son Jesse was diagnosed with tumor on his neck. I took him to every famous Specialist but they all said if we operate we can't guarantee his right part of the body functioning".
"I was ready to spend every penny on my child but my money was of no use. My wife Sujatha went to different temples but they all said, “If you get your son operated, he will die”. We tried every source but nothing was in our favor. The only thing that was left was to come on to our knees and pray to the Living God. We sent prayer requests to every church we knew and every one started to pray for my child and at last the operation was successful".
"Today, my son doesn't have even a trace of tumor in him. From then, I slowly started to read the Bible and every word, I felt so strong and true that I repeatedly read it. Every word from the Bible seems to be talking to me. Slowly I started to examine myself in accordance to the Bible and slowly asked God to help me in changing my life style. God gave me grace and today I have left my drinking habit. I had a big bar at my home but today at the same place I conduct prayer meetings twice a week. During my travel, I see that I carry the Bible and read it. Today we, as a family, have regular family prayer meetings. I just want to thank God for his goodness in our lives. We have a perfect peace in our family".
Today, Johnny tries to reach out to every individual with the Gospel through the talent he has. "All that I would like to tell to every one is that the peace you find in Jesus, you can never get in anything in the world - TRY JESUS"
To watch the video testimony of Johnny Lever, please click here
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