“Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ…When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.” – 1 Corinthians 9:19, 22.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is news, good news: the best and most important news that any human being ever hears. The Gospel declares the only way to know God in peace, love, and joy is through the reconciling death of Jesus Christ the risen Lord. This Gospel is the central message of the Scripture, and is the true key to understanding them.
Sharing the gospel is the most loving thing you can do for anyone. It is good news for everyone, regardless of their background or their attitude toward hearing it. It is helpful to consider those different backgrounds and attitudes when sharing the gospel with your neighbors or coworkers. When you understand where someone is coming from, you can better serve them by meeting them where they are. By asking people questions about what they believe and why they believe it, you can get them talking and thinking about the truth. There are vast differences in struggles, concerns, and world views. So each conversation must look and sound different. For this reason, we need to take different approaches to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with different people.
We are often too eager to share our own thoughts, especially when we know the other person needs to hear about Jesus. One common mistake is to jump into a conversation before we really hear what the other person is saying. We all appreciate being heard; when we extend that courtesy to someone else, he or she is more likely to listen to what we have to say. By listening first, the other person becomes an individual we care about.
Jesus is the model we all should emulate. Mark 12:37 says, “the large crowd listened to him with great delight.” The ESV version says, “And the great throng heard him gladly.” Jesus had this wonderful ability to speak simply and to summarize important truths in a way that everyone could understand. There was this amazing appeal about Jesus. He appealed to everyone, young and old—talking to people where they were, not where He wanted them to be. He could answer the deepest questions and explain eternal truths.
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).
Are you willing to meet people where they are in order to share the truth of the Gospel? We should be – because Jesus does the same for each one of us. He meets us in our sin, our shame, and our brokenness, and offers us a new life through Him. It is the greatest gift you can give them.
- How does Jesus’ model change how you interact with people?
- What can we do this week to emulate Jesus’ model for sharing the gospel?