Show Them Jesus!
In my last blog post I offered you five questions to ask when sharing the gospel. My goal was to provide an easy, non confrontational way to open up a spiritual conversation that, if the Spirit were willing, would lead to a presentation of the Good News that Jesus has come to save humanity from the penalty of sin. In case you missed that post I encourage you go back and read it. You can find it here.
The last of the five questions was “If what you believed is actually wrong, would you want to know? While not everyone will say yes to that question, some will. How do I know that? Because the Bible says that The Spirit is at work in the world to convict people of their need for a Savior (John 16:8–11); that God is preparing hearts to receive His life-giving word (Luke 8:15); and that God has given some faith to believe. So if you get a “Yes” then know the Spirit is drawing them!
So there you are. Standing before someone who, by God’s grace, has invited you to share the truth with them. What is your next move? How are you going to share who Jesus is and what He has done?
Your first step is to acknowledge that it is God at work in them. At this point you are working for the Spirit whose job it is to reveal truth. It is not your job to prove that God exists, that Jesus actually walked the earth, or that the Spirit draws people to salvation. In fact Jesus says “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.” (John 7:17, ESV) Note carefully the order here. First a person needs to be willing, only then will they know the truth. In other words God must first give them a will heart before they will know that what the Bible says is true.
I hope that is good news for you! It was for me. Suddenly I don’t need to have all the answers to all the objections that someone might possibly have. Instead, I can rely on the Spirit to help them realize that what is written in the Bible is God’s word to them. All I need to do is show them. But show them what? Show them Jesus!
Now is the time to pull out your pocket sized Gospel of John. What I like to do ahead of time is to highlight some key verses that talk about who Jesus is, and what he has done. Here are the verses about who Jesus is that I highlight:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, ESV)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, ESV)
“This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18, ESV)
“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”” (John 10:30–33, ESV)““He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.” (John 12:40–41, ESV)
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.”(John 12:40–41, ESV)
That last verse might need a little explaining. In v. 40 John quotes Isaiah 6:10. In that passage Isaiah is face to face with the holy and living God. It is spectacular scene. The heavenly temple is filled with the robe of God. Angels swarm around Him proclaiming His holiness. Isaiah is awestruck. Who wouldn’t be! Then in v. 41 John says that what Isaiah saw was Jesus’ glory! Jesus is God.
What I do is then have the person I am talking to read one of the highlighted verses to me. Once they read it, I simply ask, what does that mean? If you get a crazy answer, don’t panic. I have to restrain my inner Bible teacher at this point and remind myself that it is the Spirit who will reveal truth. I am just the agent the Spirit is using to show them the truth. So, I just ask them to take another look and read it again. Here is how that conversation might sound:
Me: I have a pocket sized gospel of John I would like you to have. It is yours to keep. Let’s see what the Bible says about Jesus. On page 2 I highlighted a couple of verses, would you mind reading the first one?
Them: Sure, ““In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Me: What do you think that means?
Them: Oh, well it means that someone was speaking in the beginning.
Me: That is an interesting perspective, but could you just read it again and tell me what you think it really means
Them: O.K. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Oh, I see, the Word was actually God. Well what does that mean?
You can go to the next verse to answer their question. Present the next verse and each of the other verses to them just the same way. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to them what God’s word says about who Jesus is.
Of course you might run into someone who keeps reading and reading and does not understand what God has said. I find that if I ask them to read something more than twice they start to get irritated. May I suggest that if that is happening you may be tugging on fruit that is not yet ripe? So if you sense that happening just tell them that you have highlighted a few more verses for them to consider, encourage them to read them for themselves on their own. Then graciously end the conversation. At this point you have done your part. You have planted the seed. Leave it to someone else to water, and for God to cause it to grow.
Next time I will give you some suggestions on verses in John that you can have them read which describe what Jesus did.
With Gospels of John, the guesswork is taken out of sharing your faith. Your part is simply praying and handing out a Gospel to as many people as possible. So be sure you are doing your part. The days are short and He is coming soon! Order your pocket-sized Gospels today!