Out of This World or into the Kingdom?
This isn’t new, but as I’ve thought about it more, I’ve wondered if we should change our approach when we talk about Jesus with non-believers. Here are a few ideas that may help.
- The word “gospel” or “evangelical” is transliterated from the original Greek root word “evangel.” In the New Testament times, the core idea behind the word, was “to bring or announce good news.” There are specific examples of it being used in relationship to announcements related to the Roman emperor.
- Jesus uses the phrase “Gospel of the kingdom.” A kingdom of which He is the King is an amazing thing to announce. He demonstrated His right to rule with powerful teaching and miracles all grounded in an amazing love.
- We may focus on the context of the message or what Jesus has done for us and miss actually introducing who He is to them. We often ask people to trust, believe, invite—all actions they take or that relate to their life situation or sin. That’s fine, but how much do they know about Him? Have they seen Him in our lives?
People often “introduced” people to Jesus Himself.
- In John’s Gospel, John (the baptizer), looked at Jesus as He walked by and said, Behold, the Lamb of God!’(John 1:36).
- One of the two who heard John was Andrew, who first found his brother Simon and said to him, We have found the Messiah…. While Messiah is a profound concept to Jews of any time, Andrew is building on both his relationship with his brother and his discovery of Jesus. I wonder what else Andrew might have said to Peter?
- In John 4, the woman that Jesus meets at the well outside Sychar in Samaria witnesses to the people in town by saying, Come and see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?
You might say, “I wish Jesus told my friends all they ever did…then they would believe.” But I believe He actually does—through us. They see Him in our lives. He also does that through the conviction of sin and the Spirit of course.
If we are known by our love, people are drawn to Jesus and their lives and need for Him are exposed by the truth that penetrates the darkness. I encourage you to study through more passages where people are introduced to Jesus, and rethink the way you share about the One who is truth.