Communicating the Gospel of Christ
Copyright Â© Arthur Blessitt 1986
One day when I was in college I went to the post office. As I walked in, I saw a poster on the wall. It was a picture of Uncle Sam. He had his finger pointing out and under his finger were the words, ‘I want you.’ As I read those words, my heart was suddenly pierced with God’s call. I noticed something strange, for each time I moved, the finger was still pointing and the eyes were still looking. It was the artist’s way of making it a personal call. I realized that Jesus Christ was saying to me, ‘I want you! I want you as long as you’re standing in front of the cross.’ And he is saying to all Christians that He wants you. He wants you living in victory. He wants you everywhere declaring the good news. He wants you loving the poor, clothing the naked. He wants you to be His example in this world. And to those of you who have never given your life to Jesus, He is saying, ‘I want you!’ He wants you in His family. He wants you to be in heaven. He wants to give you His Holy Spirit. He wants to forgive your sins. He wants to give you a new life. He wants to put your life together. Isn’t that good news! God wants you.
God has chosen us as His witnesses. He has chosen us as His ambassadors so that we may communicate the love of God. We are the only way the world will know. God has not chosen to engrave His message in the sky, God has chosen you and me as His ambassadors. And it is our privilege to communicate and share the glorious message of Jesus Christ. He has entrusted redemption to us. It is the greatest compliment in all the world that God has enough confidence in us to use us as His witnesses. The Bible says, “And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Rom. 10.14).
Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations'” (Mt. 28.19). We are to make disciples of people everywhere. We have been chosen by God to deliver a message. We’ve not just been saved to escape the flames of hell or to enjoy a paradise of golden streets. No, we have been redeemed by God to know Him, and to experience His love and to convey His message of love to people who have lost their direction, who have not come to understand this. And so, God has entrusted Himself in my flesh.
The Bible says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body'” (1 Cor. 6.19, 20). God wants our bodies to be His tabernacle. He wants us to be His witnesses, delivering the message of life everywhere. Isn’t that a wonderful privilege? How would you feel if you were to take a message from the President to the leaders of another nation? You would feel pride, and yet humility. You would feel honour, and maybe you would feel a sense of unworthiness. But God, the Almighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords has said that He wants Mary, John, Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones, to go to your next-door neighbors and let them know that He loves them. He’s going to use you as His witness to those who are hungry, as you feed them, and they’ll know He cares. To those who don’t understand it, you’ll explain the Bible so they’ll know that He is interested in communicating with them. God has chosen you. And you can’t fail. How can you say no? How can you say, I won’t go? God is pointing, God is calling. You accept that call and go for God.
For the next few weeks I’m going to be looking at the most wonderful person in all the world, and that is Jesus. Now, as I share about Him, I want you to understand this. Many of us, as we witness, talk about giving our lives to Christ, but we’re always talking about living the Christian life, about reading the Bible, about repentance – that’s talking about the things we shouldn’t do. But many of us talk about the things we should do. I find that a lot of us never really concentrate on Jesus. It is Jesus who is the Saviour. It is not a plan that saved you. It is not a way of life, because Jesus is the way, He is the truth and He is the life. I want to encourage you to talk about Jesus.
Who is Jesus? I could write for hours and hours about Him. I want to share a capsule of thought about who Jesus Christ is. Jesus Christ is God. He is God who came in the flesh and was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit. When He died upon the cross and shed His blood, it was the blood of God that was shed for the remission of sin. That is why only through Jesus Christ can people be saved.
He was born in a manger stall, and was identified at His birth with the poor and the homeless. Most of the people of this world are poor, and don’t have an adequate diet and Jesus Christ understood. He was born in that sort of condition. As a young child, He had to cross the Sinai Desert with His parents, all the way through to Egypt, because Herod threatened and sought to kill Him. He lived as a refugee. He came back and grew up in Nazareth. He was baptized by John. He went into the wilderness and fasted and prayed for forty days. He began to preach and teach and work miracles. Never a man spake as He. No one has ever done the things that Jesus Christ did. Unique in all of history, He is the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. He loved the poor, He loved the drunkards and the prostitutes. He said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Mt. 11.28). He went into the homes of the rich. He cared for people in every circumstance. When you share Jesus Christ show who He is. He said, ‘When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself’ (Jn. 12.32). Sometimes people don’t want to hear about your church, but everywhere I go I find people who want to hear about Jesus.
Continuing with the subject from yesterday, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived in the world. He walked along the roadside, He sat down in the grass, He was weary, He cried. He loved people, He was hungry, He was thirsty and yet he was God. When people heard Him speak, they said nobody had ever spoken like that. They had heard prophets, but they had never heard anyone like Jesus. They had never seen anyone live the way Jesus lived. He actually loved the people. When He was around lepers, He touched them. When He was around prostitutes, He let one wash His feet. When He was around the poor, He gave them something to eat. Jesus Christ cared and He loved. Then the day came when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”. (Mt. 26.39). Jesus Christ willingly gave Himself before Pilate and the angry crowd, and let them lead Him away. Then He hung on the cross, crucified.
I have walked for many years carrying a huge cross; I’ve been spat upon, and I’ve seen a lot of bitterness. Jesus Christ really suffered for us. Scourged and nailed to the cross, He not only suffered physically, but He carried our sins too. That’s the difference. Many people have been crucified, but only Christ died for our sins. As His head was slumped in death, He cried out, “it is finished” (Jn. 9.30). The way of salvation was paid for through the blood of Jesus. When you witness, be sure to share that the blood of Jesus Christ is what cleanses us from all sin.
Then on the third day, Jesus was resurrected, triumphant! Hallelujah! He is alive and living. He ascended unto the Father, and two angels said, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1.11). One day, one moment, the sound of the trumpet shall ring and the shout of the archangel shall be heard and Jesus Christ shall descend from heaven, and all those who are ready and prepared will be caught up to meet Him in the air! Are you ready?
Now I’m going to look at how Jesus shared the message of truth with a different person in different circumstances. There was a man named Nicodemus, he was a good, moral man and he was a leader. And he came to Jesus and said, ‘We know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no-one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him’. (Jn. 3.2). This man knew that here was a miraculous person; he saw miracles in the life of Jesus. But then Jesus answered him back with a straight shot. Here I’m looking at how Christ shared. Nicodemus said something complimentary to Jesus and He said, “Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God”. (Jn. 3.3) Jesus always spoke straight, but lovingly, kindly and clearly. There was no way to misunderstand Him. He said that you need a new birth, or you’ll never see the Kingdom of God. And then Nicodemus asked how could a man go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time. Here was a man thinking worldly, materialistic thoughts, and Jesus continues to deal with him spiritually. He said, “Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God”. (Jn. 3.5). Jesus took this man who was thinking of earthly and physical things and presented spiritual truths to him, and He kept comparing them. He didn’t rebuke him but He changed him. He transformed him to realize that there was a spiritual dimension in his life.
Now let’s look at what Jesus said to him. ‘” tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify what we have seen, but still you do not accept our testimony.” (Jn. 3.11). Jesus was speaking of that which He knew to be the truth. Share the message of life simply and clearly.
Jesus then goes on to explain the full gospel to Nicodemus. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (Jn. 3.16, 17). That was Christ’s witness to Nicodemus. He explained the full gospel, the gospel of repentance; of us turning from an old life to live a new life; a new birth; and then He shared how He was coming to give Himself for our sins and that in Him we have eternal life. Jesus was saying that He had not come to condemn him, but that if he believed in Him, he may be saved. In other words, ‘I’ve come to deliver you the good news’.
Now as you witness, I challenge you today to witness with the love and the understanding of Christ. If people say something to you which is earthly, change it and bring Jesus Christ to them and share the truth of salvation and love of Jesus
Today I’m going to look at how Jesus talked to a woman in His everyday life. The Bible says that Jesus was making a journey, and as He was traveling, He came to a place where there was a well of water, and He was weary. The disciples went into town to get food and Jesus sat by the well. A woman approached Him and He asked her a question. He said, ‘”Will you give me a drink?'”(Jn. 4.7), and they started to talk.
Now, there are several things about the witnessing life of Jesus that I want to note. It was at the end of a typical day, He was exhausted and she came up and He began to talk to her. He initiated a conversation and it had to do with water. Now, many of you go down to the launderette; you’re at a petrol station; you’re doing various jobs around the house or business, in your everyday life – and you’re in touch with people all the time. So was Jesus. He took advantage of the people that were around Him to share the message of salvation.
As Jesus began to talk with the woman, she was astounded that He, a Jew, would talk to her, a Samaritan. This had to do with racial prejudice. And Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water” (Jn. 4.10). Here you see a conversation where Jesus heightens her curiosity, ‘If you knew. . .’. Sometimes when you’re in your place of business or work, or whatever, and you’re happy and joyous and you say, ‘Isn’t it a wonderful day!’ and someone replies, ‘I don’t know what’s so wonderful about it’. You can say, ‘Because of God’s gift of eternal life, because of the happiness that Jesus gives.’
Christ was sharing with the Samaritan woman about how she could have living water and He said to her again, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.” (Jn. 4.13, 14). Isn’t it wonderful to see how once again Jesus took the physical and brought out the spiritual impact. The physical water, the spiritual water – the physical water satisfies your body, the spiritual water, Jesus, satisfies your soul.
The woman replied, ‘Give me this water’, then Jesus said, ‘Go, call your husband.’ He dealt with sin and repentance here. And she said, ‘I have no husband’. He said, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” (Jn. 4, 17, 18). She was under conviction, but He dealt with her sin in love. Then she said, “I know that Messiah is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am He” (Jn. 4.25, 26). Jesus announced that He was the Saviour and in that instant she believed. She dropped her water pot and started running into the city. Jesus took her from her interest in the water, through her prejudice, to eternal life. And you can share Jesus Christ with somebody today, and communicate that He’s the way, the truth and the life.
Yesterday, I discussed the woman at the well and how Jesus met her, shared the truth with her, and how she received Him as her Saviour. Now today I want you to notice the change that took place in this woman’s life. The Bible says that immediately after she had believed, ‘Leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” ‘ (Jn. 4.28, 29). Hallelujah! Here was a woman who was living in sin, an adulteress, probably the town prostitute, and she met Jesus at the well, she came to believe that He was the Messiah in one conversation. And she dropped the water pot she was carrying and went running back into the city.
Here was a woman changed through her faith in Jesus Christ, and who ran back to the city to speak to the men. Now sometimes we’re taught that women shouldn’t witness to men or men shouldn’t witness to women, but Jesus changed this woman’s life and she ran into the city and she talked to the men. Have you ever wondered why she went to the men? I believe it’s because the women wouldn’t have anything to do with her, and the men were the ones who had been her companions. She went back to those who she had sinned with, and said, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did’. No wonder a big crowd turned up; she told them about a man who knew everything that every one of them had ever done. That would draw a crowd anywhere, wouldn’t it?
The people of the city ran out to listen to Jesus and the Bible says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.” (Jn. 4.39). They came out and listened to Jesus and believed in Him just because of what He said, and they asked Him to stay, and Jesus stayed in the town two days. Because a prostitute was converted and began immediately to witness, they had a two day revival with Jesus.
Several things about witnessing can be learnt here. When we receive Jesus, our hearts are changed right away. Secondly, we should start witnessing at once. Thirdly, we should witness to the people we know, those whom we’ve sinned with perhaps. Some of you say that you’ve done so many bad things that maybe you should move to another town. Well, here is this woman going back to those with whom she had sinned. And finally, we see this woman with no training, become an effective witness, with people believing in Jesus because of what she said.
Now as I continue to look at the woman who was converted at the well, who went into the city and witnessed, and the men who came out, I want you to notice something about the disciples. The Bible tells us that the disciples had gone to get food from the same city that this woman went into. And as the men were buying groceries, Jesus sat by the well and began to witness to this woman. As the disciples came away from the city, they had no revival. They hadn’t witnessed. God had saved nobody. Jesus had been training his disciples but they had failed on the job. On their return, they pressed Him to eat, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” The disciples were puzzled, ‘Could someone have brought Him food!’ and Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.'”(Jn. 4.32-34).
Jesus’ desire was to witness. It was His spiritual food. Many of us are as blind as those disciples as we go about our daily routine. We never witness for Jesus, but this woman went into the city and she witnessed, she preached to the men and the whole city came out. A saved prostitute brought revival. The disciples had gone in and bought groceries but had no results. And that’s tragic. Many of you have been trained; you know the Bible; you’ve gone to Sunday School; to church, and yet you’re not productive. God wants to use you. You say now is not the time, but Jesus said, ‘Do you not say, “Four months more and then the harvest?” I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.’ (Jn. 4.35). You need to get out there and let your desire be to share Jesus.
Today, I’m going to look at lady who received Jesus Christ as her Lord. I’m going to comment on how Christ dealt with a critical situation. You find the story in John Chapter 8.
Jesus was teaching and a crowd had gathered to hear Him. Then Jesus’ critics came along bringing a woman, literally dragging her, and threw her at the feet of Jesus. The woman, they said, had been caught in the act of adultery. Now the Law of Moses said they should stone her to death because she was an adulteress, but this would bring them into conflict with the Roman authorities. Whatever Jesus said, He was caught. But led by the Spirit and by the Father, instead of condemning or condoning her for anything, He simply leaned over and wrote in the dirt, and his critics must have stood there confused. Here’s a woman thrown at His feet, with a crowd looking on, and a group wanting to have her killed. What will you say Jesus? And Jesus looked up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her,” (Jn. 8.7), and then Jesus bent over and started to mark with his finger again. After a few moments, “those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.” (Jn. 8.9).
Here is Christ gently, in love, looking up at this one woman, when all the critics had left because they had certainly sinned. Now as you look at Jesus, He looks at this woman. She must have looked up into His eyes, seeing the purity and the holiness, here was God in the flesh. And she a sinner, an adulteress, and Jesus said, “Woman, where are they? Has no-one condemned you?’ ‘No-one Sir,’ she said. And Jesus said, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” (Jn. 8.10, 11)
Isn’t this marvelous? Just to realize right here that Jesus Christ loves. See the gentleness that reached out from Him. As He loved this woman He did not condemn her in bitterness. Many of us in our witnessing are like knives, slashing and stabbing at those who’ve done wrong, but Jesus, He knew she was condemned and she knew she was condemned. And yet, somehow, in the midst of that condemnation she came to experience His love. As you witness today, in your witness, let it be a witness of love. The world is condemned enough, it needs the good news of life and love and salvation. This is what this lady needed and Jesus loved her. And by saying, ‘go on your way, sin no more, I am the light of the world, trust me’, she received Him as her Lord and began to live a new life.
I’m still looking at the life of Jesus, trying to understand how He witnessed, how He loved, how He shared, and that’s the same type of witness we want to be, and that He wants us to be. Today I’m looking in Luke chapter 19. Jesus was going into Jericho and as He was walking along, suddenly He looked up in a tree and there was a short guy sitting up in the top. He knew the man’s heart, and He knew that the man wanted to know Him. He wanted to see Jesus, but he was too short to see from the huge crowd that had gathered. Now, we’ll notice a beautiful thing about Jesus when the Bible says, “He looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”‘(Luke 19.5). To me, these are some of the most thrilling words Jesus spoke, because here He called a man to Himself. He invited a man to know Him; to trust Him and to come down to be with Him. Jesus was saying that He was coming to Zacchaeus’ house, to eat with him and visit him, to be his friend. And the man came down and received Him joyfully.
Jesus went into the man’s house but the crowd began to criticize Him because He was the guest of a man who was a sinner. Then look at Zacchaeus, “But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” ‘ (Luke 19.8). Here’s the transformation of Christ and this is the kind of witness that we need to be.
We need to be willing to be the friends of people who other people are unfriendly to. If anybody loves in this world, it should be Jesus’ followers. But often it’s the Christian pointing and condemning and judging, but Jesus didn’t judge, He didn’t condemn. What He did was to go into the man’s house and say, ‘I want to eat with you, I want to be your friend.’ That’s the kind of Witness that God wants you to be. Maybe there’s a friend of yours who you need to call up and invite to your home for dinner. Maybe there’s a friend who has asked you to go to their house, then go and eat with them. Maybe some of your friends are gathering in places where you don’t normally go, maybe you should go there and answer the call, the invitation they have given you and bear Witness of Jesus. I challenge you to take advantage of every Opportunity you get in the world, and share Jesus Christ. And let’s get out with the gospel and go, go, go!
I’m now ready to look at something which Jesus did that was unique and very special, and I believe it will help many of us Christians to witness more effectively, in realizing how instantly a person can be converted and then how quickly they can Witness for the Lord. You’ll find the story that I’m sharing about today, in Mark chapter 5. Jesus had sailed across the Sea of Galilee to an area called the Gadarenes, and living there was a man who was really insane. He was filled with demonic Spirits; he tore at himself; and people tried chain him but he would break the chains; he lived in caves and tombs and went about as a wild man, running naked in the mountains. Jesus landed on the shore and the man saw Him, and came running toward Him, and the demons in him cried out because Jesus said, come out of this man, you evil spirit!’ He started to Cast the demons out and the man begged Him repeatedly, ‘not to send them out of the area’. And then the demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs;” (Mk. 5.8-l2). And these demon spirits were cast into the pigs, and the pigs ran over the cliff edge and plunged into the sea. Then we read that many came to Jesus to see the man who was possessed with the devil, and saw him “sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” (Mk. 5.15).
You see, Jesus changed his life. In a moment, he was set free, he was a new person, he put clothes on, he was sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening as Jesus talked and preached. But the people were afraid because Jesus had cast these demons out of the man, and had caused the pigs to leap off the cliff. In other words, Jesus cost them some money because the demons went into the pigs. And the people urged Him to move on. Everybody was against Jesus except this one man, and he begged Jesus that he might go with him. But Jesus said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you” (Mk. 5.19). Isn’t this marvelous! Here was Jesus with this man set free and the man, wanting to go with Him, to learn from Him, to be one of the followers. And Jesus, refusing to take him, but telling him to go to his friends, who had seen him in his former rage – naked and tearing himself Jesus asked him to go and tell the people what great things He had done; he was to be Jesus’ witness. And Jesus left him alone.
The Bible records that several months later, Jesus went back to the country and all the people received Him. Why? Because that man had been out there witnessing. Let’s look at the witness of Jesus. He proclaimed the gospel, set the man at liberty and sent him witnessing right after he was saved. When you lead somebody to Jesus, you need to encourage them right then to tell their wife or their children or their parents or their friends about Jesus. Let’s all get out into the world and spread the good news of Jesus!
By now, Jesus had been travelling for some time with the disciples from town to town. One day they ended up near Caesarea, Philippi. They may have been sitting around the fire, after eating, I don’t know the circumstances, but they were together, and there were idols there that had been offered to other Gods. You can still see where the images were and where a stream comes flowing out of the mountainside. It was a place of religious observance of other Gods. And Jesus looked at the disciples and said, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you? Who do you say I am?’ “(Mt. 16.l3-15).
Now, let’s look at the witnessing of Jesus. He brought the question straight to them, kind of generally first, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ Many times as we share, we are sharing ideas of what someone said or what they’ve heard, but it all boils down to what do you think of Jesus. Who is He?
So when you witness, and when I witness, I try to explain who Christ is and let people understand and know the truth of the gospel; that He is God who came in the flesh without sin and lived and died and was resurrected. And as I proclaim the gospel message, then I always bring it to a final point, just like Jesus did. I say, ‘What are you going to do with Jesus?’ or, most of the time I put it this way, ‘If you had the choice, and you do, of going with Jesus or without Him, which would you choose, the choice is yours? You can know Him now.’ Jesus presented an invitation when He spoke, He always gave the opportunity to make that choice to follow Him, to trust Him, and so, as you witness I invite you to invite the people who you’ve talked with, to decide for Jesus Christ, to receive Him into their life as their Saviour.
I’m sure your witnessing is improving day by day as you look at Jesus Christ, sharing in every circumstance the message of salvation. Today let’s look at Jesus in John Chapter 11. As you study the chapter, you’ll see a marvelous witness of Jesus, because here He brings salvation.in the midst of death. You see him in every circumstance bringing life, now here is death.
A friend of Jesus, named Lazarus, died, leaving his two sisters, Mary and Martha. When Lazarus had died, after great sickness, Jesus brought a great witness into the situation. You faced with death and life, and friends of yours and friends of mine, and my father has died and so on. In the midst of death, we should deliver the good news. Let’s see how Jesus does it.
Jesus said, “and for your sake I am glad I was not there,’ speaking of when Lazarus died, ‘so you may believe” (Jn. 11.15). In other words, if Jesus had been there, sure, He could have kept Lazarus whole, but he died. So, Jesus uses his death to cause people to believe.
Then they started questioning Jesus and Martha said, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died” (Jn. 11.21). Listen to the words of Jesus, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'” (Jn. 11.25). Lazarus is already dead and buried and Jesus starts preaching. He was saying that if you believe in Him, you’ll never die, your soul will live on. He was giving eternal life at that place of death when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Taking this circumstance of death and delivering a message of life.
And then Jesus went into the town and He called out for Lazarus to be resurrected, and Lazarus came out of the tomb, bound hand and foot, yes, but alive. I am always kind of amused to hear what Jesus said when He commanded, “Lazarus, come out!” (Jn. 11.43). Have you ever wondered why Jesus said, ‘Lazarus, come out’? I think it’s because, if Jesus had just said ‘Come out, every dead person in the world would have been resurrected. But He said, ‘Lazarus, come out, eliminating the huge resurrection till later. And Lazarus came out, and notice what the Bible says next, “Then many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in Him” (Jn. 11.45). And listen to what Martha said,
“Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world” (Jn. 11.27).
Jesus came into that place of death with Lazarus, brought him to life, worked a miracle and Martha said, ‘You are the Christ’, and all those who gathered around declared that He was the way, the truth and the life.
Today, I want to read John Chapter 14. Jesus begins this witness to a group of people by saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (Jn. 14.1, 2).
Jesus begins to witness by talking about heaven, by talking about what it’s going to be like there, about His desire for us to be in heaven with Him. And as He shares this rich truth, Thomas says, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (Jn. 14.5). So here is a person listening to Jesus talking about the joy of heaven, and asking about how we are going to get there. He wants to know the way and how to make it. And then Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn. 14.16). Here again we see the simplicity of the witness of Jesus Christ. Those listening wanted to go there and He told them how, in a straight, clear, pointed and non-confusing way, ‘I. . .’ He said, I am the way, and the truth and the life.’ What we are seeking for, He has it.
As you and I witness, we often take different approaches in our conversation with people. Sometimes you may just be talking about the great blessings of God, and people listen to you and say, ‘Wow, you really are happy aren’t you!’ And you say, ‘Yes, I am, and here’s how you can be happy too. Give your life to Jesus Christ, receive Him as your Lord.’ Jesus always communicated in a straightforward way and that should be our desire. With love, with compassion, and at various times, as you’ve seen through the days, you will see how Jesus adapted His message to the circumstances; how He spoke about something, and the people looked at and He told them how they could have it.
Often, people want the joy and assurance we have but we’re very vague about it. So we need to explain who Jesus is – the Son of God who has come in the flesh, born to the virgin Mary, who rose again, is living, and will come again, and loves every one of us. I urge you to communicate the love of Jesus.
Today, let’s look briefly at the life of Jesus and His witness on the Sermon on the Mount. Often we think of evangelists as great preachers standing up before a huge audience with microphones and wires everywhere, well, when Jesus preached His most famous sermon He was sitting down on a hillside. And that hillside was probably just grazing land for the sheep and the goats of the area. And He sat down and preached that mighty sermon. He made all those wonderful statements like “Blessed are the poor in spirit; Blessed are those who mourn; Blessed are the meek; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; Blessed are the pure in heart, and so on (Mt. 5.3-8). He preached the most awesome sermon world has ever heard. And if anybody knows anything about Jesus, they know about the Sermon on the Mount. It was so powerful yet simple, so profound and yet so very readable.
This is what God wants us to do in our witness. Though we present a powerful message it should also be a message of simplicity; uncomplicated, simply sharing life and love and truth: there are choices, with Him or without Him. There is life, and God loves us and He brought it together in a very powerful way.