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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am reading straight through the Bible.  I am in the book of Matthew.  I was struck by something in chapters 8 and 9.  Most of the time, people came to Jesus.

I was raised Evangelical.  I was exposed to "door to door" evangelism, the 4 spiritual laws, bus ministries, "I Found It", etc... You name it we heard about it or tried it in order to "find people" who could become believers (probably more often than not would also become members of our local churh).  I was taught and practiced a "go get them" evangelism.

By the end of Matthew, we are commanded to "go".  We are commanded to go make disciples.  This is far beyond "going" to get a salvation decision.  This is going to become a part of someone's life.  To help them as they learn to obey the commands of Jesus.  So in this context, we are to "go".  However,  people were drawn to Jesus.  Why?

What was it about Jesus that drew people with needs to Him?

I found 13 instances in chapters 8 and 9 where people sought out Jesus to meet some need.  Eight (8) of those were individuals desiring healing (restoration - both physical and spiritual).  Three (3) were beings driven by fear.  One wanted Jesus to acknowledge him (8:19).  One represented people in search of an answer to a question (9:14).

In every instance where there was a need (healing), it is noted that the people believed.  They were drawn to Jesus because they believed in Him.  They believed He could make a difference in thier lives.  They sought Him out because of the belief they held.  Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of what we hope for.  It is the evidence of what we cannot see.  None of these people have evidence they would be healed.  They just believed that they would be if they could be seen, touched, heard, by Jesus. 

What does this mean to us, to me?  Jesus is attractive.  If you get exposed to Him, if you "see" him, if you find out what He is about, you will be drawn to Him.  So my job, our job, is simply to expose, show, and share Jesus.  It isn't to get "salvation decision pelts".  It is to be faithful witnesses and reporters for Jesus.  It is to be lovers of the people God brings into our lives.  No matter how ineffective the "church" is (not that we shouldn't strive to be effective), no matter how faulty I am (not that I shouldn't try to be faultless), Jesus is still attractive if you can get an honest, clear experience with Him. 

Have a problem?  I know a guy.  His name is Jesus.  Here's what He did for me...
9:11 am est 

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