After walking up the stairs and following him to his apartment, he invited us to come inside. We met his wife and infant son. After small talk, he said his story was complicated. It would take hours to explain. He handed me a movie on DVD and told me to watch it. Frank said the movie depicted his life.
We will look at three examples of Jesus using common terms from creation in sharing truth in evangelism.
Jesus gave Simon a new identity and destiny. Because Simon was an unstable and emotional person, Jesus used “rock” to express his new name as Peter. It anticipated his future leadership role in the church (John 1:42). Everyone saw a “rock” in the countryside. Christ used “rock” to express Peter’s later revelation of Jesus as Son of the living God. Christ would build His church and the gates of Hades would not overcome it (Matthew 16:18).
Nicodemus, a self-righteous and well-connected religious leader, came to Jesus at night. When he misunderstood “born again,” Jesus used “wind” to illustrate that one can’t know where the Spirit comes or where it goes (John 3:1-21). The area had strong winds causing sandstorms. Nicodemus, used to being in control, later allowed the Spirit to guide Him by standing up for Jesus and caring for His body after the crucifixion (John 7:50-51; 19:38-40).
Jesus met an immoral Samaritan woman at a well. As the opposite of Nicodemus, Jesus used the term, water, to connect with her. He and the woman were both thirsty. It was noon. The weather was hot. Jesus began the conversation, “Give me a drink.” She was also spiritually thirsty. Five husbands and living with someone hadn’t quenched her spiritual thirst. Many Samaritans believed in Christ because of her testimony
Get to Know
We won’t know what term to use in evangelism until we understand someone’s story. Skeptical Nathanael asked if anything good could come out of Nazareth. Jesus said he was a true Israelite with integrity. He said later that Nathanael believed because of Jesus telling that He saw him under the fig tree (John 1:45-51).
How did Jesus get the woman at the well’s attention? John says the woman left her water jar, went to the town, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:28-29).
In summary, get to know the person and you will develop credibility and trust. Ask the Spirit for the simple, understandable words as a vehicle to express spiritual truth in evangelism. Then watch God at work!
By the way, I’m in the process of getting to know Frank! I’m praying for the right terms to use.