THE NEW EVANGELIZATION (Part 57): MEET, LIVE, SHARE CHRIST – 2

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

 

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

(Part 57)

 

MEET, LIVE, SHARE CHRIST – 2

 

January 4, 2014

Today’s gospel: John 1:35-42

 

 

For salvation, people need to call upon the name of the Lord. For them to do so, they need to to believe. For them to believe, they need to hear the gospel. For them to hear the gospel, it needs to be proclaimed. This is the importance of evangelizers. For people to meet Christ and to start to live Christ, there are those others who share Christ.

We see this in the call of the first disciples. John the Baptist said to his disciples, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” (v.36). He pointed to Jesus. He proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God. He made known who Jesus was. “The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.” (v.37). They heard. They were attracted, intrigued, challenged? Whatever it was, they followed Jesus. They sought him out. They wanted to meet him. They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” (v.38c). They wanted to become more intimate with him. They wanted to enter under his roof. They wanted to know him more. “So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day.” (v.39b). Certainly Jesus taught them about the Kingdom. Certainly they were well on their way to living the ways of Jesus.

“Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.” (v.40). This is significant. They heard John, and they followed Jesus. They heard and they believed. “We have found the Messiah” (v.41b). There is a direct correlation between hearing and believing. Of course not everyone who hears the gospel will put their faith in Jesus. But certainly all those who put their faith in Jesus heard the gospel first! The proclamation of the gospel is the very first step to salvation. Without the proclamation of the gospel, most people would not even meet Christ.

So the two disciples meet Christ, start to live Christ, and now will share Christ. Andrew told his brother Simon Peter about the Messiah (v.41). To proclaim Christ is simply to share about our experience of Jesus. We share in our normal day-to-day circles, like our own close relatives (then there are friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.). We do not have to preach or quote scripture (we can do that too), but we only basically say, “I found Jesus. Let me tell you about him.” “Then he brought him to Jesus.” (v.42a). Such proclamation is powerful. It brings people to Jesus, to meet him and to know him. For us today, we also go a further step, because people need a practical process of really getting to know Jesus and starting to live Christ. We bring people to Jesus through an effective renewal program, such as the Life in Christ Seminar (LCS) of the LCSC movement.

 

In this episode in John’s gospel, Jesus says three things. He says the same things to us today.

“What are you looking for?” (v.38b). What indeed is the world looking for? In the new year, as always, we look for peace, we hope for good things, we want to be blessed. But each new year turns out more or less the same, with a lot of sorrows and pain. We are looking in the wrong places, doing the wrong things, following the wrong people. For peace in the world we need to look to the Prince of Peace. For good things we look to the One who freely dispenses fullness of grace. For blessings we look to the Savior and Lord gave himself up for us and who loves us with an eternal love.

“Come, and you will see.” (v.39a). Jesus does not force salvation on us. We need to freely accept. We need to go to him and accept him as Savior and Lord. If we do go to Jesus, then we will see. Brought from darkness to light, we will see the truth, which then sets us free. Having been traveling on the wide road that leads to damnation, we will now see the the true way, the narrow road that leads to salvation. Being dead in our sin and under condemnation of death, we now have life, and can look forward to eternal life in heaven.

“You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” (v.42b). Having gone to Jesus and starting to live his way of life, having responded to the call, we are now anointed by him to be in his body, to share in his work, and to go forth to do for others what has been done for us. Jesus tells us, “This is who you are (were); now this is who you are (will be).” Our lives are overturned and totally transformed. We shed the old life and put on Christ. From opponents of God we now become friends of Jesus and soldiers of the Holy Spirit.

 

Onward to the New Evangelization!

 

*     *     *