This week’s Resource Guide is a little different… Easter gives us a fresh opportunity to think about how we engage people about Jesus. The Resurrection invites our testimony and it invites questions. Scripture encourages us to be ready: “… And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. .” (1Peter 3.15, 16)
How did Jesus reach men like Nicodemus or Zaccheus? He engaged them through natural conversation not preaching or sermonizing. A simple reading of the gospels reveals that Jesus had no method or system. Only a genuine interest in other people and a desire to bring them into the dominion of God’s grace. Each conversation is unique and reflects the distinct personalities of the men and women He is speaking with. He was never indifferent, aloof, or patronizing. His conversations did not hide behind a shroud of small talk, religious jargon, or spiritual elitism. While he purposed to convict people of their sin and the Father’s love He never made people feel insignificant, embarrassed, or humiliated. In fact Jesus esteemed their freedom and their dignity so highly that He always left the decision with them. It is awesome and liberating to realize that Jesus did not effectively persuade everyone He spoke with. Can we possibly think that we shall do better?!