Is it my job to “sell” Jesus? Is an evangelist basically a used-car salesman for the Lord?
Jesus made it clear that people can’t come to him unless the Father draws them to him (John 6:44, 65). He said that his job was to speak the words of life (John 6:63), keep all those whom the Father had given him (John 6:39), and give them eternal life. Did Jesus use language and images that were pertinent, meaningful and relevant? Absolutely. But he wasn’t trying to conjure up a spiritual interest that wasn’t already there. He spoke about the living bread from heaven because he wanted to bring forth those whom God had given him, those with a genuine hunger for life in union with God. He was looking for vital signs—for a spiritual pulse. In the process of keeping those people God had given him, Jesus also caused those who had no spiritual hunger to move on. That’s what the Father sent him to do.
I find this news liberating. Jesus wasn’t a slick salesman—he wasn’t selling himself, or the kingdom, or God. He was locating those who already belonged to him. He was giving substance to the indescribable hunger that true seekers have. He was putting words to their deep thirst. He was explaining why they felt strangely drawn to him. As an evangelist, I do not have the responsibility to create a hunger for eternal life. That’s not my job. I am only sent to point people to Jesus, let them hear his words of life, see him as he is, and check for signs of spiritual life.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Evangelism Is Not a Sales Job
Shawn Young's reminder that You Don't Have to Sell Jesus: