Evangelism—it tends to polarize or paralyze us. Some people are turned off by gospel preachers and those who hand out gospel tracts, while others are drawn to it.
Many people are afraid of rejection when sharing their faith with others. Others may think they don't know enough to do it well or are afraid of questions they can't answer.
Formulas, patterns, or scripted presentations aren't the answer. Relationships are the key.
The story in John's gospel of the first followers of Jesus gives some simple but effective insight for sharing our faith and introducing others to Jesus.
The next day John was standing with two of his disciples. John saw Jesus walk by. John said, “Look! This is the Lamb of God.” When the two disciples heard John say this, they followed Jesus.
Jesus turned around and saw them following him. He asked them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which means “teacher”), “where are you staying?”
Jesus told them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went to see where he was staying and spent the rest of that day with him. It was about ten o’clock in the morning. [vss 35-39]
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two disciples who heard John and followed Jesus. Andrew at once found his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). Andrew brought Simon to Jesus.
Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon, son of John. Your name will be Cephas” (which means “Peter”). [vss 40-42]
(John 1:35-42 GW) [Context– John 1]
Jesus told them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went to see where he was staying and spent the rest of that day with him
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What does John say and declare about Jesus and to whom? What is their response?
How does Jesus respond to these two disciples who seek to know more about Him?
What does Andrew do after spending the day with Jesus? Who does he go to and what does he say?
What does Jesus say and do when Andrew brings his brother to Jesus?
Relationships take time to develop and do so at their own pace. Trust is an essential element of good and fruitful relationships. I see three ways this takes place in this short story to open the door to trusting in Jesus.
The two followers of John the Baptizer trusted his guidance and wisdom—so they sought out Jesus because they trusted John's declaration of truth about Jesus. Our own journey of faith and understanding of truth can be a powerful testimony to others.
Jesus invites these two seekers to spend the day with Him when they ask where He's staying—“Come, and you will see.” Many people need to see Jesus for themselves. They can see Jesus through us when we open our lives to them.
Andrew seeks out his brother Simon (Peter) and shares his faith in Jesus. Because Simon trusts his brother, Andrew is able to bring Simon to Jesus. Jesus then speaks into Simon's life in a prophetic way, as seen through the rest of the gospel story.
Taking it to heart...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Who was involved and instrumental in your coming to faith in Jesus?
Do you have people in your life with whom you have influence and who trust you?
Are you confident about your relationship with Jesus and understand the gospel in a simple way?
Are you willing to open your life up to others so they see your relationship with Jesus?
Meditate On This— Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, but some followed because they were invited by someone else who had faith in Him.
Prayer Focus— Pray for the people in your life with whom you have influence and trust and ask the Lord to show you others who are open to trusting in Him.