Living and Discipling among the Lost – What did Jesus do?
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6)
There is no greater evangelist than our Lord Jesus Himself and we would do well to study His strategies. It seems although Jesus did spend effort on the far lost (those who would not readily receive the Gospel of the Kingdom), He spent most of His energies on those who were spiritually hungry.
Even His beginnings in ministry point to a divine strategy. He went to those whom we would presume were ready to listen to His message. Ray VanderLaan, in his message “Follow the Rabbi,” makes the observation that Galilee was “a hotbed of revival” in Jesus’ day (Mt 4.12-17). Jesus Himself defines His primary target as “the lost sheep of Israel.” (Mt 15.24) When Jesus came to a new town to preach, He would go to the “religious” first by entering the synagogue (Lk 4.44). And, when He gives instructions to His disciples on their mission trips, He tells them to find a “friendly host” who would listen to them (Mt 10.11-13, Lk 10.5-8). His instructions to them about those who were hostile were quite different. He tells His evangelists to shake the dust of their sandals in protest and move to the next town (Mt 10.14, Lk 10.11).
The Apostle to the Gentiles practiced the same strategy. When Paul entered a new town, he went to the synagogue first (Ac 17.1,10,17). And if there was no synagogue, he went to a place where religious people would tend to hang out (Ac 16.13). If the crowd became hostile, he focused his efforts on those who embraced the Good News of Jesus (Ac 13.46).
I have a saying, “You can’t push a rope.” Why would we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince a person who doesn’t want to hear about Jesus when there are many around us that do? The key is finding these spiritually hungry people. One of the best places to look is in your church. Start inviting some of the parishioners to lunch and ask them to share their testimony. I guarantee you will have plenty of opportunities to lead people to Jesus. And, if all the people of your church are saved, start aggressively inviting the lost to attend and focus on the ones who actually show up.
A Love Hate Relationship with Evangelism
LOST – They are not on an Island!
Evangelism: Methods or Majesty
Reaching the Far Lost, How would Jesus do it?
The Near Lost – Low Hanging Fruit
A Strategy for the Near Lost
Inside Out Witnessing
The Shocking Reality – Cold Contacts
Do Not Feed the Lost?
Leaders: Do the Math
A Summary of the Living and Discipling Among the Lost
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© 2008, 2009 Following Jesus by Chuck Wood All Rights Reserved