What does Jesus Teach us about Sharing the Gospel? (Part 1)
Sharing the Gospel in our modern day culture is challenging so let’s venture back to the time of Jesus to see how it was done. Over the next few weeks we are going to look at how Jesus shared the Good News and what we can learn from him to help us share our faith.
Attend any regular Sunday morning church service or Friday night youth group gathering and you will surely be encouraged to share your faith with your friends, family and co-workers. And if you’ve grown up in the church, the call to evangelism has been a common anthem we’ve all echoed. It’s common knowledge to all believers that sharing our faith is something we should be doing and on a regular basis.
We should know the word of God and be ready at all times to share the Gospel which is the source of our belief. But what does Jesus say about sharing our faith? What can we learn from the Son of God?
The Great Commission
A perfect first place to look is at the end of the Gospels, when Jesus gives his final words on earth to his disciples. An account of this event can be found in Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-20, Luke 24:44-53.
Here’s what the Gospel of Matthew says:
“And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The message of Jesus is clear and he speaks out the calling of each and every believer to go out into the world and teach people the ways of Jesus, making disciples of them and baptizing them in the name of the Lord. (This direction is also found in Acts 1:4-8 when the disciples are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the works of God).
Throughout the gospels we see Jesus preaching the gospel of the kingdom, teaching people the ways of the Lord and doing mighty works. We are to imitate Christ in this way. He said before he ascended that we would have a helper in the Holy Spirit and would be empowered to do even greater things than He.
Becoming Fishers of Men
“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, [Jesus] saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:4.
So what’s the first step in effectively carrying out The Great Commission? Matthew 4:4 points us in the right direction – drop what you’re doing and follow Jesus. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to quit your job and all your responsibilities. What Jesus is calling us to do here is to let go of our earthly desires and pursuits to follow the ways of Jesus.
By obeying his teachings and imitating the life of Jesus, becoming children and disciples of Christ, we are also being equipped to teach others. The better we know the ways of Jesus and when our entire lives are aligned and committed to following His teaching, the better we can show others His ways too.
Our Lives as Testimony
You are the salt of the earth. As Matthew 5:13-14 says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Our lives are a great tool for sharing the Gospel. People pay attention to the way you live. When we choose to follow Jesus and believe in Him, accepting the Holy Spirit into our lives, the way we live changes and people should notice. The light we receive will be noticed in our homes, schools, businesses and communities. They way we live and the things we say and do should be of God and should point towards God so that others will see His glory.
This goes beyond simple manners of being polite, nice or living well. It means living with bold conviction, it means praying for people, laying hands on those who need healing, whether its physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, or financially. It means having consistent steadfast faith through mundane, every day circumstances. It means being transparent about the intimacy we have with God. It means walking with God in every circumstance, relying on him and being honest with others about the good things he has done for you and for others. This kind of lifestyle is impossible to ignore.
Next week we will dive deeper into what we can learn from Jesus about sharing the Gospel in part 2 of this series