Jesus Flunks Evangelism 101
The more I’ve been thinking about it, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that Jesus would have failed 9 out of 10 evangelism courses in America. His approach was clear, direct, and take-no-prisoners. He knew when to be gentle and when to confront (see John 4 for an excellent example of Jesus doing a little of both). Here are a couple of modern scenarios I think show how Jesus would be graded in many evangelism courses today.
Scenario 1: Mark 10:17-22
Rich Young Ruler: “Jesus, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Does Jesus “seal the deal” and get him to “raise his hand”, or “walk down an aisle”? (You know what I mean).
Jesus: “Here’s an idea, sell everything you’ve built your identity on, and then we’ll talk.”
Jesus’ grade in most evangelism classes: 55
Scenario 2: John 6:56-60
Jesus gathers a large crowd after “ministering to their felt needs.” He has them on the edge of their proverbial seats, waiting for his “encouraging message.”
Crowd: “Shhhhh, Jesus is about to speak…I can’t wait to be inspired.”
Jesus: “Ahem, now that I have your attention, you guys might want to know that unless you take a big ‘ol bite of my flesh and take a solid swig of the good stuff running through my veins…uh yeah, you’re going to die in your sins.”
Crowd: “Did he just say that!? Brother’s flippin.”
Jesus’ evangelism grade: “Please see me after class.”
Scenario 3: Luke 9:18-26
Jesus: “Hey guys, what’s the skinny on the street? What are others saying about me?”
Peter: “People are throwing out all kinds of stuff out there.”
Jesus: “But what about you?”
Peter: “You? You’re the man, David’s son, the Messiah. You’re gonna woop-up on those Romans and show them who’s really in charge.”
Jesus: “Don’t go around telling people that. Truth is, I’m not going to be “opening up a can” on anyone. If anything, my enemies are going to open up a can on me. And here’s the kicker. If you’re going to be my peeps, prepare to have to “open a can” on yourself daily. See, how those Romans nailed up your friends over there. Yeah, that’s going to be the kind of life you live every day. And if that bothers you and y’all break out on me, when the time comes I’ll return the favor with the quickness when my Dad and his boys show up to “handle things.”
Peter: [Grumbling under his breath…not caught by Luke] “Not exactly your ‘best life now’.”
Test Grade: “Needs improvement. Doesn’t get along well with others.”
Here is a short list of helpful book on evangelism.