Thursday, October 24, 2013

John 1:43-46 . . . and we don't get discouraged!

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.

On Monday, we noted that we don't find Christ - He finds us. Yesterday we dug in and studied that after He finds us, we should tell others.
The last thing I would like to show you in this passage is that to be a follower of Jesus means that we will keep on going in spite of some hard knocks.
What was Nathanael's response to Philip? It wasn't very encouraging, was it?  Here was Philip, excited, breathless, passionate about Jesus, and eager to share the good news. He was met by a pretty cynical response. "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
Sometimes when we tell people about Jesus, we are met with one of several responses. The person we tell may be downright rude, and tell us just where they'd like for us to go. They might respond with apathy -- a don't-care attitude, that can really deflate our joyous bubble.  Or they might have "heard it all before" and be cynical, like Nathanael was, here.
Getting a response like this can take a huge chunk out of our self-confidence. It might knock us for a loop and make us wonder if we are doing the right thing. It may make us question if we are the right people to tell other people about our Lord.

But don't get discouraged! Let's see what Philip did . . .
Well, he didn't snap back in a rude way. And he didn't get into an argument about the merits of Nazareth, or even start telling Nathanael about the prophecies and history of Israel.
He just said, "Come and see!"
And when it comes to telling others about Jesus, that is all we need to say.
We can lead them to our Bible, and see what God would have us tell them. Or we can lead them to our church, and let God do the rest.

You see, the best advertisement, if you will, for Christ, is a life that He has changed. Our passion and excitement about what our Lord has done for us can be contagious. Yes, we need to study our Bible so that God can use us when we say, "Come and see!" and open the Scripture to tell someone about Him.
And we need to make sure that we are in a church that will warmly welcome a person when they "Come and see" what God is doing. It will need to be a church that has a sense of excitement about God's plan for reaching others, and it needs to be one that gets involved in reaching out and telling people about His love.

If we are to be disciples like Philip, Andrew, and the others, who made such a difference in their world, it means that we must not lose confidence when our message is not always welcomed.  We must trust that an encounter with God can be life-changing for them, as it was for us.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!  Psalm 31:24


Katie Isabella said...

That about sharing our belief is very needful as we want to share and encourage others, however...we do occasionally run into a response that may fluster us as to how to respond.

Belinda said...

I think we often forget that we are only responsible for sowing the seed, not making it grow. So, if we only succeed in bringing the truth to someone, and they rebuke us, or respond in a negative way, we can be comforted in knowing we did what God told us to do. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit and the other person.

BUT, that is so very easy to say. It's terribly hard to try and share our Lord and have someone throw Him back in our face or not care at all. Or even worse, start trying to convince us of their beliefs instead.

How I wish I was stronger and more fervent in sharing His message. I'm so lame.