“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world.” (Jn. 17:6, NRSV)
Before His suffering began, Jesus prayed a long, moving prayer that gives us a touching picture of His love for the Father—and His love for us. (If you have time to read the entire prayer, you can find
it in John 17.) He begins by sharing His longing for everyone to experience the eternal life that comes through knowing the Father. Jesus’ whole life was about pointing people to God.
So how did Jesus go about telling others about the Father? How would you describe His evangelism strategy? Jot down the things that come to mind.
Some of us have been trained to believe that sporting Christian tee-shirts and bumper stickers, passing out tracts, inviting people to evangelistic events, attending marches, protests, or rallies are what evangelism is about. But many of us have shied away from such strategies because they don’t fit our gifts, personalities, or comfort levels. Is that okay? What would Jesus do if He were to live in the 21st Century?
We really don’t know what Jesus would or wouldn’t do, but we do know that He was able to make the Father known without these modern-day methods. Jesus’ way of revealing the Father was to take time with people. To get to know and understand them as individuals with unique stories. To listen to their hearts. To touch their hurts. To meet their needs, forgive their sins, and lift their burdens. To offer a way of life that was truly life. He didn’t sugar-coat truth or suggest that “anything goes”—instead He revealed righteousness and truth not as rules, but as means to life—and He offered Himself as the way
to get there. He revealed a God who is holy yet loving, righteous yet merciful, powerful yet approachable. And demonstrated that a personal, intimate relationship with this incredible God really is possible.
As Jesus’ followers, we also get to point people to the Father, and to Jesus. How does today’s meditation encourage you? Challenge you? Talk to God about whatever you are thinking and feeling. Is there a specific way you’d like to grow to be more like Jesus in this area? Ask Him to help you.