LESSON 8 19/1/2014
TIME FOR JESUS’ STRATEGY OF EVANGELISM
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 239, 240
Devotional Reading: LUKE 9:51-56
Topic For Adults
BLENDING THE OLD AND THE NEW TOGETHER
Topic For Youths
GO INTO ALL THE WORLD
LK. 19:1-10; JN. 14:12; ACTS 1:8
Memory Verse: For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 19:10) NKJV
DAILY BIBLE READING
Jesus Came To Seek And Save The Lost
Jesus did not put anybody in doubt about His mission here on earth. When He started His ministry, He boldly declared His statement of purpose in Luke 4:18 that He had been anointed to preach the gospel. As a result, He knew He had to look for the sinners and not the other way round. Though in the understanding of the people of the world, it is the sick people that go to the Physician to be healed or treated. But Jesus, the Great Physician was the one going about looking for the sick to be healed, for He has come to serve and not to be served. This is the strategy He wants believers to use in bringing sinners to Christ. Take the gospel to where sinners are and don’t expect sinners to be looking for you.
Point of Emphasis: Go out to seek for sinners and preach the gospel to them.
Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to reverse or set aside Jesus’ pattern of evangelism. Help me to do it as He did it for tremendous positive results.
Jesus said it is good that a servant be like his master. While on earth, He
always sought for sinners to reach them with the gospel. The church has changed the method today by expecting the sinners to seek for Jesus by coming to church. This week’s lesson intends to revisit Jesus’ strategy for evangelism which is still relevant and effective today.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
(A) MEETING SINNERS WHERE THEY WERE – LK. 19:1-10
Jesus had only one strategy of evangelism but with different approaches. One method was that “He always went out” meeting the sinners where they were. In the story of the conversion of Zacchaeus, Jesus entered and was passing through Jericho on evangelism outreach when He met Zacchaeus. This incident seemed ludicrous because Zacchaeus, a wealthy and probably influential man, ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore-tree to get a chance to see Jesus.
Jesus already knew Zacchaeus’ name and all about Him. He instructed the tax man, who was considered chief among the publicans (who presided over other tax-gatherers, or who received their collection and transmitted them to the Romans government), to come down immediately for Jesus wanted to stay at his house. Note here that Jesus did not say, “you need to come and meet me in the synagogue, for I don’t have time for you now”, rather He decided to go and meet Zacchaeus at home to show him the way of salvation the more. This decision of Jesus was more than what Zacchaeus had hoped for, so he welcomed Him gladly.
As usual, many complained because Jesus had gone to be the guest of a “sinner”. This is because all publicans were regarded as great sinners, and the chief of the publicans were regarded as peculiarly wicked. It would appear also from Zacchaeus’ confession that his characters had been that often oppressive man, who had been extorting money from people unjustly. But Zacchaeus stood up and voluntarily announced that he would give half of what he owned to the poor and repay four-fold all he had wronged. He publicly wanted the people to know that his time with Jesus had changed his life.
Jesus pronounced to him that that day, salvation had come to his house. This statement of Jesus did not imply that the act of giving to the poor had saved Zacchaeus, but that his change in lifestyle evidenced his right relationship before God. Jesus, therefore, explained to the grumblers, the detractors, the self-righteous and to those who thought they were saved simply because they were descendants of Abraham that His mission is to seek and save those who are lost. The word, ‘seek’ means “to look for” “to search for”, not waiting for or expecting the sinners to come to the church. Jesus’ strategy for evangelism is to search for sinners and bring them in. This should also be our chief method. Sinners may not likely come to our church to be evangelised. In fact, evangelism is not done in the church but outside the church.
(B) THE TASK OF EVANGELISM IS FOR ALL CHRISTIANS – JN. 14:12; ACTS 1:8
Soul wining, preaching, teaching and teaching converts is the very duty of every truly converted believer. When Jesus was about to go back to His Father, He told the disciples “Most assuredly I say unto you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (Jn. 14:12). In Jesus’ statement above, the word “greater” does not mean that the apostles would necessarily do more stupendous miracles than Jesus did such as feeding 5,000 souls, but it means that their outreach would be greater. The work of Jesus’ followers will make a deeper impression on mankind. They would see to the conversion of more sinners as when Peter’s sermon brought about the conversion of about 3,000 souls. Also though the works of Jesus were confined to Judea, the works of the apostles would be witnessed by many nations. Hence, Jesus promised of the sending of the Holy Spirit to them so that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost part of the world (Acts 1:8)
Both the leaders and the followers who truly believe in Jesus must be engaged in this business of harvest of souls. Our job is simple, we are to go out and harvest. We are not to work for their salvation, Jesus had done that and accomplished it. Are you involved in this task and do you use Jesus’ strategy or your own method?
The method of Jesus’ evangelism is going out in search of sinners to reach them with the gospel. This method of Jesus was efficient, effective and brought desired results to Jesus. It is still effective today in addition to other technological means of preaching such as the mass and print media. Therefore, let us go out and seek sinners and bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
(1) Where was Jesus going when He met Zacchaeus?
(2) What was the occupation and position of Zacchaeus in the society?
(3) Mention Jesus’ strategy for evangelism as revealed in this lesson.
(4) Who may do the harvesting of the souls of sinners into the kingdom of God?
(5) Explain the phrase “greater works” in Jesus statement in John 14:12