What does it mean to be an evangelist? The word evangelist is derived from the Greek Word “euaggelistes” when means “one who declares good news. Jesus did so much during his earthly ministry to give us examples in what it means to be an evangelist.
After washing the disciples feet, he actually told them it was an example and they were to do the same. He was calling the disciples to humble themselves and to serve one another. We are commanded to imitate Christ by doing the things he did. It goes without saying that in order to model our actions after Jesus, then we must study his words and actions so that we can.
Jesus was not just a preacher. He was not tied to a pulpit, nor was he just an itinerant evangelist. Jesus ministered to the needs of people by going out among the people. Matthew 5, 6 and 7 is well known as the Sermon on the Mount.
These chapters contain many examples of how Jesus challenged people to change the way they think. Then immediately in chapters 8 and 9, Jesus went out and changed people’s lives. He cleansed the lepers, healed the sick and raised the dead. He wasn’t sitting in an office somewhere blogging about helping people; he was on the front lines, in the trenches so to speak, getting his hands dirty. He changed people’s thoughts and he changed their lives.
Jesus ministry was about showing people God. Colossians 1 describes him as the “image of the invisible God.” In John 14, Jesus told his disciples that if they had seen him they had seen God. Jesus wasn’t just making God visible; he was illustrating what God is like. The Pharisees had kept the letter of the Law, but in doing so, they missed the spirit. Jesus was on earth to remind us what the heart of God is like.
The story of the Prodigal Son shows us a father that is merciful toward a son that does not deserve mercy. Jesus told dozens of these stories. The message he delivered and the lessons he taught were not his own; he shared what the Father had taught him. We can listen to Jesus and still hear the Word of God today.
This is a 3-point message:
1) Jesus changed people’s lives.
2) Jesus showed people God.
3) He wants us to do the same.
In John 14, Jesus plainly instructs his followers to go on doing the things he did. Some he said would do even greater things. Now consider if you will these two scriptures, both the words of Jesus:
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. -Matt 5:12
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” But he also said “You are the light of the world.” During his ministry, Jesus himself showed people what God was like. He shined the Gospel light into a dark world. And now… it is all of us who carry the light. We possess Jesus Christ in our hearts, and the knowledge of salvation. The Gospel has been entrusted to us, and we must carry it to every corner of the globe.
I discussed this matter with a friend to come up with opportunities to spread God’s word and here’s what we came up with:
- Look at the people we work with, we spend more time with them then our families, so there is an area we could be reaching.
- Many people reserve the weekends for family time, an idea would be find an area where your whole family could serve, such as a food pantry/soup kitchen.
- It can be as simple as being thankful and gracious in conversation.
- In addition to serving together, I think inviting people to dinner is a great way to share the gospel too. What better way to exemplify the giving/serving nature of Jesus than to invite someone into your home and feed their bellies?
Ministry is more than preaching in the pulpit or teaching a Sunday school class. We must do the things that Jesus did. The Jesus that ate with sinners and touched sick people.