Bible Reading: John 4:1-42
If you grew up with a typical African parent, there’s this conversation that would likely have happened at some point between you, when you wanted to go visiting at your friends. You would ask your mum for permission to go, and then she would stop you from going by saying something about how the friend has never come to your house.
In truth though, maybe you are the one that didn’t even want the friend to come over. Maybe you were actually doing all that you could to prevent the friend from coming. Bringing the friend over is opening yourself up- sometimes, we aren’t too proud of what we have at home and we don’t want the light to come on that. Perhaps your parents relationship wasn’t the cutest, or the furniture at home wasn’t too presentable, and all that. Bringing definitely puts some extra pressure on you.
We’ve challenged ourselves about being missional christians over the last couple of days. We’ve shared about living with the courage to go and the courage to speak. A third part of that though is going and speaking with the courage to bring.
A big part of encountering Jesus all through the scripture is that He works in us the courage to bring others to what we have found. Encountering Jesus and following Jesus is all about becoming a bringer. Truth is being a bringer is seemingly more pressure and responsibility than being a speaker. If all there was to our being missional was to tell the gospel, then we can pretty much just dump it on people, bombard them with christian status updates and posts, or maybe go out one evening to meet a few people with no strings attached and tell them things about Jesus, and then go back to our lives.
As cool as that is, it isn’t the full picture. God calls us to be people who use the power of our relationships and influence to bring the world round and about us to where they can also encounter Jesus. That makes us so much more responsible. That means we cant just tell people or dump the gospel on people, but we have to live on in the power of what we tell them.
He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus… The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” … Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:41-46 NKJV
It’s a pattern all through Scripture- the woman brought her entire city to Jesus with the words ‘come and see’, Andrew found and brought his brother, Simon to Jesus, Philip found and brought his friend, Nathaniel to Jesus with those same words ‘come and see’, the star led, waited for and brought the wise men to Jesus (Matthew 2:1-10), the four friends carried and brought their lame friend to Jesus (Mark 2:1-5), and so on.
I believe that a real encounter with Jesus sparks a #BringingCulture in us!
Bringing people to Jesus is not an assignment for perfect people, but for sincere people. It’s not for very knowledgeable people, it’s simply for people that have themselves experienced something around Jesus. The woman in our reading today was far from perfect; she was totally messed up and was still in the process of understanding her encounter with Jesus. But she was sincerely on a journey towards Jesus, and that was enough reason to bring her whole city to Jesus.
In Mark 5:18-20, Jesus outrightly refused a man that he had healed from following him! That’s strange. Why would Jesus not want this guy hanging around him? Jesus sent the guy to go back to his ‘friends and family’ and use his relational strength to tell them about Jesus.
Do you realise that the Almighty Jesus, full of love and passion for the people, had no access to the people of the city, but was sitting outside, until the woman acted and brought the people. Perhaps, there are so many people on your contact list that can be planted in a church family and have a genuine encounter with Jesus if only you act with your relational strength.
Aren’t there people you can give a John 4:43 chance:
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” (NKJV)
As we wait on God today, let’s believe for God to work in us that kind of courage that doesn’t underestimate what God can do through us and the relationships and access that He has blessed us with in bringing people to Him.
Something To Pray
Pray today that God will use your relationship influence for His Kingdom purpose! Pray to be filled with courage to lead and bring people to Jesus.
Something To Do
Think up 3-5 people that you can use your relational strength to bring to encounter Jesus, either in His church or through some other means. Take up the challenge prayerfully to reach out and bring them to an encounter with Jesus. If there are no names on your list, then pray and look out for new relationships! #BringingCulture