Learning Evangelism From Jesus

I just finished reading, Learning Evangelism From Jesus by Jerram Barrs. This is an excellent and challenging book on evangelism. This isn’t a book about technique or methods or programs. In it, Barrs examines passages of Scripture  looking at Jesus’ interaction with people to challenge our assumptions, heart, and approach to non-believers. Will you agree with all of his conclusions? Maybe, maybe not, but you will have to wrestle deeply with what it means to be a sinner, redeemed by God who has been blessed to be a blessing in this lost and hurting world. When looking at Jesus’ practice of spending time with the outsiders, tax collectors, etc… and the criticism Jesus received from the Pharisees for spending time with “sinners”, Barrs challenges us with this…

“What God desires from every true Christian believer is mercy for sinners. This, after all, is who God is, someone who delights in showing mercy to sinners. If it were not so, there would be not a single Christian in the world. Even if the friends we have appear to be so sinful that they scandalize some of our fellow believers, we need to be ready to endure criticism and persevere in loving those whom others may consider unlovable. “

I’m I ready to do this? Am I doing it? It got me thinking about the friendships I have or don’t have and why I have and don’t have them. Who would I have trouble being friends with and why? Who, by appearance or lifestyle, do I immediately dismiss the idea of being friends? Why?  What am I affirming or denying about the Gospel by my friendships or lack thereof?

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