Consider Your AudienceBro. David Chancellor
4/26/2009 11:00 AM
And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me, and where I am, there shall also my servant be; if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled: and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Jesus wanted them to realize that the cross was ahead, and that it was necessary to accomplish his purpose. We want God to be glorified in our lives. If we lift him up, he’ll draw people to himself. Nothing else will be effective in drawing people to God. People need to see in him the answer for their needs. What they see in us should inspire their faith in God to meet their need.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak what we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Nicodemus didn’t understand what Jesus was telling him. Jesus was trying to help him see that he (Jesus) had to be lifted up. Our challenge, as Christians, is to lift Jesus up so that people can see him. Jesus needs to shine through us. If people don’t look to him, they won’t find the answer to their need.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
We should encourage people to call on Jesus, and do it in such a way as to encourage their faith to believe. We’re called to share the good news so that others can know God. If we don’t lift up God, then we’ve failed in what he has called us to do. The world needs to hear about more than just a name. People need to see how God brought you out. Paul only spoke of his sin to show God’s mercy. We want the world to know what wonderful things God does.
1 Corinthians 14:23-25
If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
If you fail to communicate, they’ll just think you’re crazy. Think about what you want to say. You want to be heard and get the message across to people. If people don’t see Jesus, then we’ve missed the point. Think about what you want people to hear. Avoid church lingo when you’re with someone who doesn’t understand it. We need a good editor. Consider your audience. If your words require interpretation, you’ve failed and need to rewrite it so that people will understand. What people hear has to matter to us. We want people to know that Jesus is the answer. If we don’t inspire people to look to Jesus for help then we’ve failed.
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Paul was ready to share the gospel wherever he went. The gospel still changes lives. Think about who you’re talking to. Meet them on their level. We have to communicate Jesus to all kinds of people. We want them to be able to find the answer in him. Anything else is a failure. Lift Jesus up.