The Man for Others

on Sunday 21, February 2010

Have you ever wondered why Jesus’ life and ministry never wandered far from the borders of his home town?  He was, without doubt, the most effective evangelist or missionary who ever lived.  Mankind was his field of labor, and his effectiveness at reaching people has affected all of humanity.  And yet, he simply touched those in his immediate sphere of influence, those who crossed his path every day.

The Gospels show that Jesus quickly established intimacy with the people he met.  Whether he was encountering the woman at the well, religious leaders or fisherman, he had the ability to get to the heart when engaging people in everyday situations and setting.  He never rented a hall or advertised in the local newspaper.  As Philip Yancy writes, “He did not have a things-to-do list.  Jesus was simply ‘the man for others’, in Bonhoeffer’s fine phrase.”  Or as Bill Hybels puts it, “Jesus was available to anyone, anywhere.”

Our traditional way of thinking about ministry must change.  It is not up to the ‘full-time’ people to win the world to Jesus.  The Great Commission was given to every believer.  It may not be our role to ‘close the deal’ every time we have a chance to present the life changing, transforming power of Jesus.  That’s the job of the Holy Spirit.  Our job is to be willing to listen and to obey his direction.  If we do that, God will give the increase.