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Summary: Not many people have been argued into becoming a Christian. But it is amazing what a simple invitation can do.

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The Power of an Invitation

John 1:43-49

John 1:43-49

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."

44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.

45 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."

46 "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."

48 "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."

49 Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."

(NIV)

Did Jesus find Phillip

or

Did Phillip find Jesus?

John 1:43

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee.

Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."

(NIV)

What did Phillip immediately do?

Found Nathaniel

John 1:45

45 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."

(NIV)

Nathaniel was a seeker, just like Phillip. Nathaniel and Phillip had studied the Scriptures. They knew that the Messiah had been written about in the Law and the Prophets.

While Phillip surrendered,

Nathaniel is suspicious.

John 1:46

46 "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.

(NIV)

Nathaniel knew that the prophets said the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, not Nazareth. In fact the town of Nazareth never shows up in the Old Testament at all. Nathaniel is from Cana, a town just four miles north of Nazareth. Have you ever seen a small town rivalry?

What did Phillip do with Nathaniel’s prejudice?

“Come and see.”

John 1:46

46 "Come and see," said Philip.

(NIV)

Friendship Evangelism is effective

because of an

established relationship!

Not many people have been argued into becoming a Christian.

In his book In the Eye of the Storm, Max Lucado tells about something that happened to him while he was in high school. Every year, he and his family used to go fishing during spring break. But one year, his brother and his mom couldn’t go, so his dad let him invite a friend.

They looked forward to this vacation with great anticipation. They pictured the sun shining down on them as they sat in the boat in the middle of the lake. The yank of the rod and the spin of the reel as they wrestled the bass into the boat. The smell of fish frying in a skillet over an open fire. They could hardly wait. Finally spring break arrived, they loaded the camper and set out for the lake.

They arrived at night, set up the camper and went to bed anxious to get up the next morning and go fishing. But that night, a northeaster blew through. The wind was so strong they could barely open the door of the camper the next morning. The sky was gray. The lake was choppy. There was no way they could fish in that weather.

"No problem," they said. They could spend the day in the camper. They had brought Monopoly and Reader’s Digest. They knew a few jokes. It wasn’t what they came to do, but they would make the best of it and fish the next day. So they passed the day indoors. The hours passed slowly but they did pass. Night finally came and they crawled into their sleeping bags dreaming of fishing.

The next morning it wasn’t the wind that made the door hard to open, it was the ice! They tried to be cheerful. "No problem," they said. "We can play Monopoly...again. We can reread the stories in Reader’s Digest. And surely we know another joke or two." But they weren’t nearly as cheerful about it all.

And as the day went on, they began to get more and more irritable and edgy. It was a long day and a long night. The next morning, when they awoke to the sound of sleet hitting the roof, they didn’t even pretend to be cheerful. They were flat-out grumpy. They sat in misery the whole day, their fishing equipment still unpacked.

The next day was even colder and they finally headed home. But Max says that he learned an important lesson that week. Not about fishing, but about people. He writes,

When those who are called to fish don’t fish,

they fight.

Phillip didn’t fight or argue. He did not get into a religious or historical discussion. He just simply invited Nathaniel to check Jesus out!

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