During the Convocation at Liberty University, Caviezel described the moment when God called him to be an actor at age 19.
“I felt this love that I had never felt before, this peace I never felt before,” Caviezel said. “I heard God say, ‘I’d like you to be an actor.’ … I did not know where to go. I had a call to be an actor, but it was going to take Him to teach me and bring me to the right teachers, the right films to do.”
After being cast in an important Hollywood movie, he received a call from his agent telling him that Mel Gibson wanted to meet.
“Mel Gibson told me , ‘If you take this part (of Jesus), you may not work in this town again,’”
Caviezel said. “I felt fear come into me. That’s one thing about our faith. When that (fear) happens, that’s not Jesus.”
Despite the uncertainties of where his career would go after playing Jesus in such an influential film, he said he ignored the fear and accepted the role — then Caviezel and Gibson had a realization.
“I said, ‘My initials are J.C., and I’m 33 years old,’” Caviezel recounted. “(Mel said), ‘You’re freaking me out,’ and he hung up the phone.”
The film star said he now accepts parts in films he believes will bring the most souls to Christ. The actor reached this decision ever since God spoke to him while he was filming Mel Gibson’s epic.
The Christian Post reported that while filming the crucifixion scene, God drew close to him and said: “They don’t love me. There are very few.”
In response the actor told God, “Well, I’m going to love You, and I’m going to tell You that I love You.”
“That’s why our Lord is so alone”. “His creatures do not love Him. And, He could force Himself on us, but would that be love? I don’t think so.”
In the speech, Jim met with students from the University and challenged them to strive for greatness and “be saints.” “You weren’t made to ‘fit in,’ my brothers and sisters. You were born to stand out. Set yourself apart from this corrupt generation. Be saints.”
The actor also urged the students to value the liberties that were won for them by their forefathers, and to preserve them.
“I think it’s high time now that we ask ourselves if we still even know the freedoms that were intended for us by our founding fathers.” “Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom exists, not to do what you like, but having the right to do what you ought.”