Summary: Sharing the Good News about Jesus could never be easier and more enjoyable for anyone. Why did no-one see this before. A sermon based on Rick Richardson’s ideas described in his book Reimagining Evangelism.
HOW TO EVANGELIZE AND ENJOY YOURSELF John 2:1-11
Girl down drain recued.
The father of a little girl sucked 150ft (46m) along an underground drain has told how she had stopped breathing when he pulled her from the River Wear.
Leona Baxter, three, was playing in a puddle when she disappeared. She had been washed into the uncovered drain, travelled 150 ft, and was thrown out into the river.
Her father Mark saw what he thought be her coat floating down the river. Then he realized it was Leona.
Leona responded well to First Aid and has fully recovered.
It’s not every day that we hear good news like this.
Spiritually speaking, people’s lives are going down the drain every day and people who are drowning in their circumstances cannot rescue themselves. They need someone to rescue them and bring them back to life.
We are the people who have the power to rescue them
And Jesus is the one Person who can restore them to life again.
This is ‘good news’
Who knows where we would be if it had not been for the people who had come to our rescue or brought us good news that had saved us.
A lot is said these days about the value of First Aid, and having the knowledge of it and courage to use it in an emergency. In particular, if someone has a heart attack or has just been pulled from the water and is not breathing, would you know what to do? And would you have the courage to do it?
Maybe you have used First Aid and rescued someone. And looking back on it you are glad you did. You found that it was not as difficult as you imagined it might be and that it was very rewarding to see someone alive because of you.
As Christians have a spiritual message with the power to save. We know that Jesus has commissioned us proclaim it.
But how often do we stand by and do nothing to rescue people in spiritual distress because, like a person unskilled in first aid, we are not sure how to go about sharing with them the message by which they can be saved?
At this present time our Home Groups are running several different studies covering the subjects of worship, fellowship, discipleship, service or evangelism. Home Group leaders are preparing the material themselves and over the next couple of years each group will have covered a subject in each of these areas. It is my privilege to be leading a refreshing new study entitled ‘Reimagining Evangelist’ (based on Rick Richardson’s book with the same title).
The insights we are gaining from this series are what many of us have been looking for for a long long time. It is fantastic to find material that enables us to see how easy it can be to be an effective witness for Jesus.
READING – John 2:1-11
THESIS: Jesus is our primary example of how to evangelise
i.e make the Good News known [Keyword: Characteristics]
Weddings in the Jewish tradition lasted seven days – an entire week! – and the bridegroom as the host was expected to provide enough food and wine for the whole seven days. But they ran into a big problem at this wedding – they ran out of wine!
This was the height of embarrassment, especially in first century Jewish culture.
Jesus’ mother Mary tells Jesus.
Jesus’ response is: “Woman, what do I have to do with you?”
He makes the point that what he is about to do is not a response to a request from a family member. What he is about to do is of his own volition.
He instructs the servants fill the six stone water jars, normally used for Jewish purification rites, and once they have filled them to the brim, Jesus orders them to draw it out and bring it to the chief steward. The water has turned into wine.
What was Jesus doing?
First – he sees the major embarrassment of the family and he saves them from it.
But he also makes a statement.
Not only is a miracle, it is also a SIGN.
The significance of the sign lies in the contrast between the ritual purification of the water and the plentiful provision of the wine.
We can see here the wine as a symbol of Jesus life blood which alone can cleanse from sin – and the plentiful provision of it as a symbol of God’s grace.
POINT Jesus’ presence and his actions at the wedding conveyed a message to the people. Jesus was making the Good News known.
What characterized Jesus way of making the Good News known?