This preach was done at the start of this year, was done in two parts with me doing one and the youth pastor doing the second. This focuses on evangelism and how Jesus himself reached out.
Good morning all! Hope have all had an amazing time off for Christmas, that you have had time to relax and are now ready to take on the new year whatever the next 51 weeks bring! What I’d like to bring for you this morning comes from the book of John (if people would like to turn to it) chapter 4 and we shall begin from the first verse. What I’ve been asked to talk on is how we can evangelise to the outer world and get people to truly know Jesus, and one way we can learn to evangelise is to know how the greatest man that ever lived went about his life telling people about himself. Which is what we’re read how he did so now, so John 4:1 onwards:
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) – John 4:1-8
From there Jesus transforms this woman’s life completely with his words of wisdom and then this Samaritan woman goes on to bring more people to know Jesus. But this is where it starts, Jesus sitting at the well asking for a drink. From this piece of scripture we can see how Jesus comes towards a person and is able to bring her to salvation. So what can we learn from what we’ve just read? I’m glad you asked that! Because that’s what we’re going through right now.
He Passed Through
We see that Jesus’ plan was to go back to Galilee and to do that he had to go through Samaria. It wasn’t his primary mission to save people from Samaria on that day. He didn’t say to his disciples “Right guys gather round! Today I’m going to sit by a well and you guys are going to get food and I will talk to anyone that I see!” Jesus didn’t say that. Jesus was living his life and when he saw the opportunity arise, when he saw the Samaritan woman fetching water, he decided that this was the right time to talk to her about himself and he went for it. He didn’t just look for a random person, he met her where she was at, and he did this whilst he was passing through. So how can we evangelise? We can evangelise whilst we’re passing through as well. When we are going around our daily lives, as great as big events are, as great as Soul Survivor is, as great as the Big Church Day Out is, heck even as great as the Christmas Carol service was a few weeks ago, we don’t need to make a big show about evangelism. It can be as simple as a short conversation with a very nice stranger that you’ve just met that day.
This past week I’ve been on a ‘tour’ as it were and I’ve been meeting up with friends and seeing how everyone is doing, I did it with BB, I did it with Tom and on Tuesday I did it with my very close friend Jacob who is currently studying at Moorlands Bible College and we met up and we did a Bible study in the middle of Wetherspoons, that was our plan. But half way through a lovely old lady came up to us and she asked us what we were doing and we told her that we’re theology students and we’re studying the Bible. She then told us that she was a Christian herself and she was really encouraged to see two young men (her words) studying God’s word in such an open space and talking about it. Now me and Jacob didn’t make the plan of going around and telling how amazing Jesus was, but rather we did our own thing and when that opportunity arose, we did what we could. Jesus did that with that with the Samaritan woman and more. So again what we see here is Jesus lived his life and when he spoke to people, it made them ask questions about what he truly meant and to what they truly believe. So maybe we should be like that also when we are in our day to day lives.
Jesus Winning One
As followers of Jesus, we are called into the ‘Communication Business’ and to do what our job entails, we need to communicate to the outside world. Do I even need to repeat the great commission? Even when the day of Pentecost came, and the Holy Spirit came on the disciples, they weren’t speaking in the Heavenly language they were speaking in worldly languages, so they can talk to the outer world as soon as they left that room! But even Jesus knows, that not everyone is going to be at his level and that even engaging with one person can be more than enough for what God called for you on that day. Jesus only saved one person that day and that was just the Samaritan woman, but what she did after her encounter with Jesus was evangelise herself and bring majority of her village to know Christ. It does show that one person can make a huge difference. To kind of bring the point home, let me share this famous story you would of heard of it before:
A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean. As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water. The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,” I am throwing these washed-up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. “But”, said the man, “You can’t possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t possibly make a difference.” The boy smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied “Made a difference to that one.”
Jesus made a difference with one, Jesus made a difference with us. We can lead someone to make Jesus make a difference.
Right, so I’m going to give you guys a challenge for the next few months. Because unfortunately, as I live in the middle of nowhere and I live exclusively in a Bible College, it’s a bit hard for to evangelise to my local surroundings if I said “Do you know that Jesus is Lord?” they will say “Yes Curtis, I’m your lecturer. Get back in class…” So the next time I’ll come back which will be in March, I want to hear how you have been along your day and you’ve led someone to make a real difference in their lives.