Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Shared the Gospel

We're called to be his witnesses, to introduce people to Jesus, and then help them become committed followers of Christ. I want to just take a few minutes for us to just look at how Jesus modeled this for us throughout His life in ministry and give you a little bit of practical hope.

Does that sound good? Because I think that's a big job when somebody goes, "Oh, by the way, you're supposed to be telling people about Jesus," and we cry a little bit inside. But why do we do that?

Reasons We Struggle to Share Our Faith

1. What if they ask me a question I can't answer?
I don't want to look dumb, because if I look dumb, obviously, God looks dumb. 

2. I don't know how to explain the Gospel.
I heard there's something that you can draw on a napkin when you're at a restaurant or something. I have never really been taught how to share the Gospel before, so I don't really have it all down and I don't know the 4 spiritual laws, or 7 spiritual laws, or 18 spiritual laws. There's something out there, but I think there's something more that I should know.

3. I don't want to offend anyone.
I have to work with these people every day. If I tick them off, they're going to make my life miserable. I don't want to do that. I don't want anybody to feel badly about themselves because that's a cardinal sin in our culture. I don't want to get canceled. I don't want to tell somebody something that will upset them. I don't want to upset their heart.

4. I just don't want to be weird.
I just don't want to be weird. We've been conditioned to that. Wherever we go, we just don't want to be weird. I don't want to be that guy or that person. I don't want to be that girl. I don't want to come across as like, "That weirdo." What do I do?

Jesus Did it Best. Follow His Lead.

1. Ask a Question
I want you to know that Jesus asks questions so much. Let me just tell you this, Jesus was asked 183 questions in the total of the Gospels. Here's the funny part, you want to know how many He answered directly? Three. Out of 183 questions, He answers 3. The rest of them, He either ignored or kept silent or asked a question in return or changed the subject or told a story or gave an audio-visual aid to make the point or told them that was the wrong question. He had so many good ways of revealing what really was going on behind the question.

If Jesus only answered three questions, He's not asking you to be the answer people. People are not offended if you don't know the answer, and you say you don't know. The problem is when you try to make it up like you know.

Now, here's the other thing that you need to know. Jesus answered three questions, but He also asked 307 questions in the Gospels. So what are questions you can ask? Because you're not going to walk around and go, "Who do you say that I am?"  like Jesus did. If you do, that's weird.

The questions you and I can ask are things like this. If you're in a conversation with somebody and it goes a little bit deeper, or somebody says, "Yes, I don't do the church thing," you could ask something real easy, "Why do you think Jesus made such an impact in the world?" Everybody knows about Jesus. People, actually, will talk themselves into Him being a Messiah. I've talked to people who are dead set against Jesus, but then you ask them about Jesus, and they win themselves over.
Here are some others:
  • If you were to look for a church, what kind of church would you look for? I know what I was looking for, what would you look for? 
  • What's your opinion about church?

See, here's the thing, when you ask people questions that they can answer, it provides them an on-ramp to the life that they already want. It gives them a chance and opens the door for them for the questions that they wish they could answer that they don't know the answer to.

Let me say that one more time. Asking questions people can answer opens the door for the questions they wish they could answer.

2. Tell a Story
Jesus tells stories, basically, that say the worst of the worst people will be welcomed home because that's the heart of the Father.

Jesus flipped everything on its head. Here's what I would say. If you are worried, I'm not asking you to make up stories or learn all Jesus' stories, tell your story. See, tell your story. The one that only you can tell from your experience, that's the story you've been called to tell.

You've heard the story about Jesus giving sight to a blind man. Well, check out what the blind man says when people ask him about it and about Jesus:

John 9:25-27
"I don't know whether he is a sinner," the man replied. "But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!" "But what did he do?" they asked. "How did he heal you?" "Look!" the man exclaimed. "I told you once. Didn't you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?" 

See, the testimony is your experience; your story from your experience and all you have to do is say, "You got to meet this guy." Why? "Because I was blind and now I see." That's it.

3. Meet a Need
Healing people. Feeding people. Casting out demons. When you look, you see Jesus meeting needs. What are needs that people have? People want love, acceptance, forgiveness, hope, purpose, to find community.

That's what we offer. Why? Because it counterbalances what's naturally born inside of us: fear, guilt, worry, resentment, discouragement, and loneliness. That's why, so we meet a need.

Why would we meet a need? Because people need to know how much you care before they care how much you know. That's why.

4. Share a Meal
You know that there are a bunch of times in the Gospels where Jesus is sitting down having a meal with people. 10 different times He's sitting at a table having a meal with people. It's a big deal. We have a meal here at Pipeline.Church every Sunday night. Some weeks we have a lot of people show up and we're like, "Lord, would you bless this like the loaves and fishes." We serve a great meal every Sunday night and we have a meal together. Why? Because it happens like this:

You realize that people mocked and ridiculed Jesus for going and eating meals and drinking with people that he wasn't supposed to eat and drink with? All the time. They, actually, called Him a drunkard and a glutton. Part of our understanding of the Gospel is asking questions, telling stories, meeting a need and just having a meal. That doesn't sound intimidating. Not at all.

See, I'm trying to explain to you: come and see. That's the thing we're supposed to do. Ask a question, tell a story, meet a need, share a meal. Just invite people to come and see.
This blog post contains excerpts from Week 2 of the "Come and See" sermon series.

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