Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission, as recorded in Matthew 28:19: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Christians have been tasked with the work of evangelism, and the teaching of the gospel to lost souls. However, sometimes we struggle to carry out evangelism effectively. We can learn how to be better soul winners by examining the Master teacher at work. Let us examine some important points about evangelism from Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:5-42).
1) Every soul counts
In other accounts, we read of Jesus speaking before multitudes (Matthew 5:1-3; 13:1-3). It may seem more glorying and profitable to speak before crowds of people. However, in John 4, we see Jesus spending time with one individual: the Samaritan woman. Certainly every soul is precious and worthy of our time (cf. Matthew 16:26). To illustrate the importance of one soul, Jesus gives us the parable of the lost sheep, describing how a shepherd leaves his 99 sheep to go find one lost sheep, and having found it, he rejoices; likewise, there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:4-7). Furthermore, this one woman later goes on to spread the message to many in the city, and many believed because of her words (John 4:28-29, 39). We may not be able to bring in the multitudes; however, we just need to focus on one soul at a time; time spent on any individual soul is time well spent!
2) Exciting news
After realizing that Jesus is the Messiah, the Samaritan woman immediately went into the city to share the news about Jesus: she was excited for others to go and see Jesus as well (John 4:25-29). The message of Jesus should be exciting news for us too. The Greek word for gospel, euaggelion, literally means “good news.” The gospel is good news because it tells us of the hope of eternal life, which we have through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Therefore, we should not be afraid or ashamed of sharing the gospel with others, but rather, be excited about it!
3) Essential work
While the Samaritan woman returned to the city, the disciples came, bringing Jesus food (John 4:3138). However, Jesus told them that he already had food. While the disciples were wondering if someone else had brought Jesus food, Jesus said: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Essentially, Jesus was saying that the work of preaching refreshes and satisfies Him just as food satisfies our hungry stomachs! Preaching to the Samaritan woman had a satisfying effect on Jesus. To Jesus, preaching the gospel is just as essential as food is to us. Do we yearn to preach the gospel as much as we yearn for food?
Additionally, the work of preaching is important because of the souls who are ready to receive the gospel. Jesus said, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35). Jesus was referring to the souls of men: there are souls ready to be collected and received into the kingdom, but we need to preach to them! We may think that the masses are uninterested in religion; however, there are individuals who are searching for the truth. We need to find them and guide them to the truth!
4) Each must believe
After the Samaritan woman shared the good news to those in the city of Samaria, many believed on Jesus because of her testimony (John 4:39). However, many more believed because they heard Jesus for themselves, and they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:41, 42). Ultimately, the faith of each individual must be rooted upon Jesus. Our job as preachers of the good news is to present Christ to them. At the end of the day, it is up to the individual whether to accept or reject the evidence of Christ; therefore, we should not be discouraged when people reject us, for in rejecting us, they are really rejecting Christ (Luke 10:16).
Gospel Meeting is Coming!
The Gospel Meeting for 2016 is drawing near! (Dates: 24-26 November 2016) Let us do our part to personally share the gospel and invite our friends and acquaintances to hear the good news! This is an essential work for every Christian, and something we should all be excited about! We all must do it, and we can… one soul at a time!