Summary: Let’s make a couple of Suggestions that may allow for greater success in reaching your family for Christ.
A. This past week, I’ve had the privilege of spending time with my mother-in-law and my wife’s mother-in-law. Now I have a great mother-in-law, but I would have to say my wife’s mother-in-law is Supreme. (welcome Mom, Happy Anniversary).
B. Mother-in-law Joke: While on vacation to Jerusalem, George’s mother-in-law died. With death certificates in hand, George went to the American Consulate Office to make arrangements to send the body back to the states for proper burial. The Consul, after hearing of the death of the mother-in-law told George that the sending of a body back to the states for burial is very, very expensive. It could cost as much as $5,000.00. The Consul continued, in most cases the person responsible for the remains normally decides to bury the body here. This would only cost $150.00. George thought for some time and answers, "I don’t care how much it will cost to send the body back to the states! The Consul, after hearing this, said, "You must have loved your mother-in-law very much considering the difference in price." "No, it’s not that at all," said George. "You see, I know of a case years ago of a person that was buried here in Jerusalem. On the third day he arose from the dead! I just can’t take that chance.
C. Today, I’ve got a great Mother-in-law story for you. It’s found in Mark 1. It’s a short story, however powerful. In fact, I want to use this story to continue our series, How to Treat Others.
. D. Our Text today says this: “As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew, Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her,. So He went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them”– Mark 1:29-31.
E. Let’s use these three verses to help us consider How to go about Reaching Your Family for Christ. Now, I don’t know this for sure, but my assumption is that Peter’s Mother-in-law is not yet a follower of Christ. She’s not a Christian yet. I would guess that she was a believer in God, but her religion was Judaism. She was a staunch Jew. In fact, I expect she may very well be a bit skeptical.
F. Just a couple of verses prior to this episode, Mark records these words, “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him”– Mark 1:16-18. This Simon is the man who married this woman’s daughter and He just quit his very profitable job and went to an unorthodox and unaccredited Bible College. I expect there was some tension in the air.
G. Let’s look deeper at this story and let’s make some suggestions for Reaching your Family for Christ. Odds are, everyone of us have family members outside of Christ and I assume that you would love nothing more than to see them find Salvation in Christ. T.S.— Let’s make a couple of Suggestions that may allow for greater success in reaching your family for Christ.
MH #1. Understand that Evangelism often takes a Team Effort.
A. Often, the hardest people for us personally to influence for Jesus Christ is our extended family. It doesn’t take very long at all to realize that family members are tough, a bit apathetic, even skeptical. And often, instead of seeing progress, you feel just the opposite.
B. I know of some preachers who have won thousands to Christ, but couldn’t get very far at all with their family members. And realize that we do not have any evidence that Jesus won of his family members until after his death, and resurrection. On one occasion, his brothers, sisters and even his mother came to get Him because they thought He had gone “mad”. Jesus said on another occasion, “Only in his hometown is a prophet without honor.”
C. Jesus knew the stress of having unbelieving family members. So did Simon Peter and I like his strategy.
D. Peter, invited other believers into his home– not only for a time of fellowship, not only for an opportunity to serve them, but also for an opportunity for tag-team evangelism. Listen, it’s not your sole responsibility to win the world for Christ, it’s our responsibility. So let’s see ourselves on the same team & let’s work together. Evangelism is to be a team effort.
MH#2. Understand Your Role on the Evangelistic Team. The second thing I would like for your to consider is this.... understand your personal role on the evangelistic team toward your family.