Come and See
What does it mean to be Christlike? That is one of the expressly stated goals of our church- at Faith Baptist Church one of our objectives is to draw believers unto Christlikeness. So what does it mean to be Christlike?
Two categories of Christlikeness
The Character of His Life
The Character of His Life
The Content of His Living
The Content of His Living
Not just Christ’s inward character- yes we absolutely want to be Christlike in this way- but should we also be Christlike in the content of his life?
Should we seek to model Christ in every area possible?
What about evangelism? Should we seek to give the gospel in the same manner that Jesus did? Should we model the content of his living in terms of evangelism?
How did Jesus practice evangelism? What methods did He use?
35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
Now I want us to think about v. 39
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
What question precipitated this response from Jesus? What did the two disciples of John the Baptist ask Jesus in v. 38?
Rabbi (teacher), where do you live?
And how does Jesus answer them in v. 39?
He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
Why did Jesus answer them this way? Wouldn’t it have been easier to say, “This is where I live?” Yes, it would have been much easier. Could Jesus have answered their question with a direct answer? Yes. Why didn’t He? Why did Jesus respond the way He responded?
What happened as a result of Jesus’ answer? Look at the second part of v.39. What happened? How long did they stay with Jesus? What do you think happened during the entire day that they stayed with Jesus? What was Jesus hoping to accomplish by having these two men over to his house? Do you think this was part of Jesus’ evangelism strategy?
We can break evangelism down into three categories:
What do you think institutional evangelism is talking about?
Evangelism that is organized and run by an institution, i.e. the church. What kinds of evangelistic programs does the church organize and run? VBS, Community Carnival, Easter Breakfast, Bible Seminars, Special Meetings, VBS Canvasing Day, Parades, etc...
What do you think situational evangelism is talking about?
The attempt to give the gospel in brief situations of everyday life. This is most like handing out tracts at the gas station, or at the grocery store. This could be going door to door handing out tracts of giving invites to church.
What do you thin personal evangelism is talking about?
This is the most difficult type to cultivate and maintain. It is the one most directly attacked by Satan. It involves incredible investment of time, it involves personal relationships with lost people, it is more a manner of life than an event or a situation. It involves getting to know people, and letting them get to know you. It is akin to the Biblical idea of making disciples, not just giving people the gospel.
Institutional, Situational, Personal
Institutional, Situational, Personal
Which style would you moire immediately embrace? Which style do you currently practice on a regular basis? Which style would you say our church has embraced over the years?
What style would you consider to be the most Christlike? What style would most imitate the content of Jesus’ life?
What about here is John 1:35-39? What style best fits the approach to evangelism that Jesus practiced in this passage? What about the rest of the gospel of John? Let’s keep this question in the forefront of our minds as we study through John’s gospel together.
Do we see more examples of this personal or relational evangelism taking place in the rest of the paragraph?
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
What about this example of evangelism? Is this institutional, situational, or personal? Why?
Andrew goes and finds Simon his brother and tells him, we have found Messiah! How does he back up this claim?
Does he bring him to an evangelistic program?
Does he hand Simon a tract and say here read this?
What does Andrew do? He brought him to Jesus! What is going on here? Andrew makes the statement, I know who the Messiah is! Simon asks, how do you know? Andrew says, come and see for yourself I’ll take you to him. He brings him to Jesus, Simon experiences Jesus for himself and begins following Jesus.
Now can we bring people to Jesus to see Him for themselves? In what way can we introduce people to Jesus? How can we encourage people to come and see FOR YOURSELF?
If I tell people my own opinions of who I think Jesus is, is that allowing them to see Jesus for themselves?
How can we allow people to come and see for themselves? What if we invite them to read the gospel of John with us?
What if we promise them that we won’t shove our opinions down their throat, all we will do is read the Bible together. In fact, what if we say up front, “I would like to read the Bible with you under two conditions.”
Condition #1- Don’t believe anything I say. I didn’t write the Bible, and no one will ever get to God through my beliefs. I openly admit that I could be wrong and, if so, you would be really stupid to follow me. It doesn’t matter what I believe; it only matters what the Bible says and whether it is true or not. So, condition number one: don’t believe what I have to say about the Bible.”
Why is this an important condition to be open and honest with out friends at the start? If we really want people to come and see for themselves who Jesus is what do they need to know? Your opinions about what the Bible says, or what the Bible actually says? Hopefully those two things are the same, but if they are to come and see for themselves then the only thing that matters is what the Bible says and whether it is true or not.
Condition #2- I won’t interpret the Bible for you. We’ll read it together, and you can tell me what the Bible says.
Listen to this conversation from Schneider, Floyd. Evangelism For the Fainthearted (p. 64). Kindle Edition.
“Well, that’s a new one,” Karl remarked. “All cult leaders I’ve ever heard about want to cram their views down your throat. But how do I know you won’t interpret it for me?”
“Only one way to find out,” I said.
“Right,” he said, rolling his eyes towards the sky. “We read together, and I’ll see. But even if you let me interpret it for myself, how do I know if I have the right interpretation?”
I smiled. “Good question. Many people raise the objection that each person interprets the Bible the way he wants to. Isn’t it interesting that we don’t think that way about any other book? If we read Hemingway or Kafka together, we would both agree on the basic interpretation of what they wrote. We might disagree on the application or out working of their writings, but that’s something else. If people would read the Bible like any other book, there wouldn’t be all those so-called interpretations.”
Karl slowly nodded. “What you’re saying is that we will read the Bible to see what it says, and then I’ll tell you what it means.”
I could have hugged him. “Exactly!” I exclaimed, “And I think you’re going to be in for a surprise.”
“I don’t suppose you want to tell me how, do you?” He smiled knowingly. He had already picked up on the fact that I do not normally answer such questions, at least not right away.
I shook my head and said, “No, but I will say that I’ve read the Bible, and I have found that it doesn’t need to be interpreted – just read. If a person is honest with the text, and doesn’t read anything into it, then the Bible interprets itself. You’ll see. We won’t treat the Bible as if it had a halo around it, and if you open it wrong you get zapped by God.”
He laughed and slapped me on the back.
“We’ll just read it like any other book. We won’t take any passages out of context, but we’ll read one of the Gospels from the beginning to end.” I looked at him, waiting for a response.
“I’m probably just as crazy as you, but what you say makes sense.”
“When do we start?”
What kind of approach to evangelism is this story? Personal.
Does this approach look like the one Jesus used in John’s gospel?
What approach are you using in your own evangelism?
Would you be willing to be Christlike in terms of the content of his life? That is are you willing to practice evangelism the same way Christ practiced evangelism?
How are you going to do that? What are you going to do about it?
Read John’s gospel and evaluate the content of Jesus’ evangelism. Ask yourself what approach did Jesus use most often?
Pray that God would lead you to just one person that you could begin using a personal approach to evangelism.
Think strategically about how you could form redemptive relationships with people in your Jerusalem so you can invite them to come and see for themselves what Jesus is really like.
Spend at least one hour this week with the express purpose of forming personal redemptive relationships with unsaved people in your area.