“He has done this so that every person would long for God, feel their way to him,[a] and find him—for he is the God who is easy to discover!” – Acts 17:27 (TPT).
Looking for ways to connect with people? Jesus is the ultimate example. Jesus connected with people because He took the time to be with people, to engage them, to see them, and to listen to them. He chose to spend time with the people society had cast aside. He connected with people who had an array of different backgrounds and personalities.
He wasn’t afraid to reach out to a woman possessed by a demon, a man infected with leprosy, and a woman guilty of adultery. When adults told him to stop wasting time on children, He rebuked them and spoke with the little children. If others were hungry, He miraculously provided for their physical needs. No wonder He said of Himself, “ For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10).
Jesus observed people and listened to people so intimately that it did not take long for Him to determine what was important to that individual. From discerning Simon Peter’s deep frustration from the empty nets of a failed night’s fishing expedition to a woman’s embarrassment and shame at a well because of her past, Jesus could connect with the heart of anyone and then heal that heart.
We see Jesus connecting with people throughout the Gospels. When people were brought to Him who were sick, He spoke to them, touched them, and healed them. When He saw people trying to get a glimpse of Him, in a crowd, or up in a tree, He stopped and talked to them and even took the time to eat with them. He invited people to come and follow Him. He had compassion for them. He healed scores of them. He fed them. He inspired people to imagine life the way God intended it to be.
Look at the disciples. Jesus spent three years in an intimate relationship with them, encouraging them to follow Him everywhere He went and modeling for them how to heal people, cure people, save people, lead people, and connect people for change.
The church today can learn a great deal from Jesus about deepening its commitment to connecting with people. When we commit to speaking to people’s hearts, caring for people’s needs, loving them, and communicating to people something greater than themselves, we too can connect to people.
- Relationships can be difficult. Why do you think Jesus was so effective at building relationships?
- What can we do this week to better connect to people?