by Glen H. Jones
It is so easy to "witness" the way we always have. Lynn Anderson shows us that we may be missing the boat in personal evangelism because we do not see people the way Jesus did.
The author relates Jesus' encounter with several people. In each meeting He met them at the point of their deepest needs. Anderson contends that we must be sensitive to the situation of people if we hope to lead them to Christ.
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, He might have considered the danger to His reputation, in speaking with such a sinful woman. But Jesus saw her longing to be right with God, even though her conduct seemed to say otherwise. Jesus also spoke to Nicodemus about the Water of Life. His comments to Nicodemus, however, were very different from those to the Samaritan woman. The woman at the well wanted the Water of Life; Nicodemus thought he already had it. Jesus met the needs of both with sensitivity to their individual circumstances.
The crippled man who lay by the pool of Siloam offers another example of Jesus' sensitivity. In telling the man to pick up his mat and walk, Jesus did for the man only what he could not do for himself. Again Jesus met the person's need by meeting him where he was.
When Jesus fed the hungry multitude, He did for them what they could not do for themselves. He did not continue to daily feed the multitudes. It is the same with us-He expects and demands that we do for ourselves what we are able to do. Jesus does not cater to laziness, unbelief or hostility.
If we, then, are to carry out the Great Commission, we also must minister to people as individuals. No cookie-cutter counselor was our Lord.