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Get Out of the Way

One of the simplest and most useful accounts of sharing Jesus with others is in the opening chapter of John’s Gospel. Notice three brief stories.

First, we read of John pointing the people to Jesus, saying, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me” (John 1:30). John is able to direct people’s attention to Jesus effectively because he is not trying to direct them to himself. John recognized the superiority of Jesus to himself and willingly stepped aside so that Jesus would be the center of people’s attention. “I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God” (1:34). The next day, John sees Jesus again and shouts, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Two disciples of John hear him and begin to follow Jesus (1:35-37).

Second, we read of two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew. Andrew was one of the two disciples who had been led to Jesus by John. He goes to his brother with a simple message. “He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah (which means Christ).’ He brought him to Jesus” (1:41-42). It was a short conversation.

Third, we read of a man named Philip who had already met Jesus. “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph’” (1:45). Nathanael is skeptical, but Philip is persistent, saying, “Come and see” (1:46). Nathanael meets Jesus and is brought to faith by him.

I don’t think we fail to reach people with the gospel because we lack eloquence, as if the gospel of Jesus depended on how clever we could be with words. I think we fail because we simply choose to talking about anything and everything else. When we talk to our friends, we talk about our day at work, our interests, and our hobbies. We talk about us. What made the difference in the stories above is that people decided to get out of the way and instead talk about Jesus. They decided he was more important than their usual conversation.

So get out of the way. Talking about Him is better than whatever you were going to say anyway.