The Tactics of Jesus In Evangelism

As I read the account of Jesus with the Samaritan woman in the gospel of John, chapter 4, this morning, I had some thoughts about the tactics of Jesus in an evangelistic situation.  I would enjoy your feedback and thoughts as I am trying to grow in my own ability at seizing the moment when presented with a chance to present the Gospel.  I began with the thought that Jesus was INTENTIONAL about evangelism.  In John 4:1-5, we find that Jesus was at the well in the middle of the day by actions He intentionally took.  Notice the latter part of JOHN 4:5 (So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.)  I also noticed that Jesus met the woman where she was: at the well.  He did not wait for her to come to one of His teaching sessions.  He went to a place where people go to find water.  I see a tactic here that I could make us of:  going where people gather.  Perhaps we could find people at a popular hangout such as a park, a coffee bar, a book store lounge area, etc.

Question:  How INTENTIONAL are we in seeking out opportunities to encounter others who need to hear the Gospel?

Next, I noticed that Jesus INITIATED a conversation by engaging the woman about her activity.  She came to draw water and Jesus asked her for a drink of water (John 4:7).  My observation is that one way to begin a conversation about the Gospel would be to engage a person in conversation about their activity.  Start a conversation with them beginning with something they are already engaged in.

Another important think I noticed about the tactics of Jesus in this evangelistic opportunity is that He did not allow the woman to draw Him away from His purpose.  When the woman inquires of Jesus why He would even speak to her, let alone ask her for water, Jesus does not waver from His course.  He uses the opportunity to create interest in what He is about to do.  Notice JOHN 4:10 (10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”)  What a clever way to spark interest in spiritual matters!  Instead of entering into a conversation about inter-racial relations and bias, Jesus focuses on the more important aspect of “living water”.  How could the woman not be at least a little curious?

She is and she asks Jesus about how He is going to get this “living water” since she notices He doesn’t even have anything to draw water up from a well with.  Once again, Jesus stays on track by clearly stating the benefits of the “living water” He is about to offer in JOHN 4:13-14 (13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”)

Question:  How can we better focus our spiritual conversations on the benefits of the Gospel?

I think what happens next may be something we often miss in our attempts to share Jesus with others.  The woman asks for the living water BEFORE she realizes her need of what it offers.  In JOHN 4:15 it appears that the woman is only interested in the convenience of the living water (15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.”).  Notice that Jesus first took action to help the woman see her real need by asking her to go call her husband (John 4:16).  In response, the woman admits she has no husband and Jesus uses that opportunity to reveal His knowledge of her life: a depth of knowledge that so caught her attention she perceives Jesus as a prophet!

What I think we often do is provide a memorized solution to a problem before we get the person we are sharing with to realize their depth of need and how the message of Christ can truly satisfy.  Jesus took the time here in John 4 to bring the woman to the point of asking a key question about where people should worship (JOHN 4:19-20).  That gives Jesus the opening to clearly present the challenge of becoming a person who is more concerned with TRUE WORSHIP (that is, worship in spirit and in truth) than with WHERE we go to church! (JOHN 4:21-24 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”)

Question:  How can we be more effective at getting people to realize the importance of a genuine relationship with God, TRUE WORSHIP, rather than the superficial aspects of what denomination or place of worship we join?

As you read the rest of the story about the woman in John chapter 4, you discover that she not only comes to see Jesus as the Messiah, she also goes into the village and witnesses about Him so that others go out to meet Jesus for themselves.  In short, she becomes a “disciple-making disciple” right from the start.  Isn’t that what we are supposed to do as followers of Christ?  Maybe we should employ more of the tactics of Jesus!



~ by brotherfaron on May 6, 2017.

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