Read: Luke 9:1-9
Jesus sent out the twelve, not the eleven. As I read today’s passage, I’m intrigued by the notion that Judas Iscariot was among those who went from village to village to preach the Gospel. I’m not completely sure what to do with that thought. It reminds me of Paul’s assertion, as long as the message is heard (Philippians 1:15-18), that Christ is preached, we should all rejoice! I don’t know about you, but I wish we had more details here. What did they do, how long, how many stops, etc.?
Evangelism in our modern culture tends to take advantage of marketing experience we’ve learned from sales seminars. Whether multilevel marketing, telemarketing, cold calls, or MailChimp, we know that volume turns into results. All we have to do is crank up the numbers and the sales (or converts) will follow.
The temptation to flood the marketplace with Jesus has watered down the Gospel. I’m sure the intent is sincere, but a quick Google search reveals several places where we can buy hundreds of gospel tracts on the cheap. Whether $6 per 100, $6.95 for 250, or free from the Billy Graham association, we have easy access to this “effective and inexpensive” tool, but is this what Jesus suggested? I don’t think so.
In today’s “tract and dash” crazed culture, it’s important to remember this truth:
Evangelism requires engagement. It often requires serving people as well as preaching to them. Telling unbelievers that God cares should be reinforced by evidences of such caring.NIVAC (see note)
In 2018, this year, I hope to unlearn the marketing bonanza that I’ve been taught and relearn how to develop real relationships with people. I’m sure my numbers won’t excite anyone, the impact will be small, but I hope for those with whom I meet that sincerity will be visible.
I’m not looking for priestly robes or a clergy collar, just a focus on discipleship in this town:
Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. Luke 9:4
Yes, I’ll still be working with HGC and HGL, hoping to help many along the journey, but my heart will be primarily focused here, without visions of grandeur.
Note: Wilkins, Michael J.; Garland , David E.; Bock, Darrell L.; Burge, Gary M.; Fernando, Ajith. NIVAC Bundle 6: Gospels, Acts (The NIV Application Commentary) (Kindle Locations 49237-49239). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.