Summary: Evangelism that works is one in which building relationships is key.
Text: John 1:35-51
Title: Evangelism that works.
I’ve titled this message “evangelism that works” because in the few minutes it took to read our scripture text five people, (The two disciples of John the Baptist, Peter, Philip and Nathanael) find Jesus. Whenever you find five people coming to the Lord in a few minutes you have found an evangelism style that works.
While most of us are more familiar with crusade evangelism the type of evangelism that works best is one on one.
Andrew tells Peter (V41)
Jesus tells Philip (V43)
Philip tells Nathanael (V45)
One on one evangelism works best when it is done in the context of relationships. In our scripture passage everyone already knows the person they are sharing with. No one is sharing with a stranger.
John the Baptist shares Jesus with two of his co-workers.
Andrew shares Jesus with his brother Peter
Philip shares Jesus with his friend Nathanael.
In other words the best people to share Jesus with is those we already know.
(Co-workers, family or friends.)
Evangelism that works involves three invitations that build on each other.
1. An invitation to come and see. (V39, V46)
People will come to Jesus because of two things but will only stay because of one thing.
A. People will come to Jesus because of what they heard (V36-37)
“When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “look the Lamb of God! When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.”
B. People will come to Jesus because of what they read (V45)
“Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
C. But People will only stay because of what they see.
As we come to Jesus we see that there is a difference between Jesus and everyone else.
There are two interesting observations from our passage in relation to the invitation to come and see.
First of all the opportunity to come to Jesus is meant to be life changing. (V39-41)
1. They spent all day with Jesus
2. Although John was now writing many years later he still remembers the exact time he met Jesus. It was the tenth hour.
(If this meeting with Jesus took place in 30 AD and John wrote his gospel in 90 AD. Then 60 years later John cold still remember it was the 10th hour)
3. The very first thing Andrew did after meeting Jesus was to tell someone about it.
Secondly when you come to Jesus there are so many different qualities that stand out.
a. John the Baptist emphasized his substitution for sin when he referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God.
b. Andrew emphasized his Messiah-ship. (V41)
c. Philip emphasized his humanity (V45)
d. Nathanael emphasized his Divinity (V49)
What you might see as especially unique about Jesus may be different from what someone else thinks.
The second invitation is to come and be.
2. Come and be (V42)
“Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which when translated, is Peter)
When we said that the first invitation is to come and see what we are asking people to do is to take a look at Jesus.
When we say that the second invitation is to come and be what we mean by this is that Jesus looks at us.
We look and see the great things about Jesus then he looks and sees the great things about us.
Come and be what I have called you to be.
He invites Peter to come and be a rock.
If you were here last week you will remember that we looked at Acts 4 where we see Peter as that rock for Christ but between John chapter 1 and Acts chapter 4 Peter had a lot of learning to do.
He messed up. He said the wrong things at times. He embarrassed himself. But he saw Jesus’ promise come to pass.
Jesus invites us to come and be a rock for him. We may make mistakes at certain times but we got to pick ourselves up and keep going.
There are two things every person what’s in life.
We want to see. (V38)
“Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “what do you want? They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher) where are you staying?”
We want to be.
The third invitation is to go and tell.
3.Go and tell
We can see that this “ go and tell “was very natural for the first disciples. They reached out to their circle of relationships and shared Jesus.
When it comes to telling others about Jesus it is important to communicate in such a way that the listener can clearly understand what is been said.