Our soul winning verse from the Word of God today is Isaiah 52:7 which reads: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
Our soul winning quote today is from Bill Hybels. He said: “Once some religious leaders wanted to sting Jesus with the most devastating insult they could conjure up…After wracking their brains, they finally sputtered, ‘You…You…You friend with sinners.’ He pleaded guilty to attending raucous weddings, hanging around with crooked tax gatherers, talking with women of ill repute, and mingling with riffraff from the wrong side of town. His motive was simple: Jesus befriended sinners because they mattered to His Father!”
Our soul winning devotional is part 55 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.
Evangelism Is…Hanging Out With a Purpose
In John 2:1-10 we find Jesus at one of the most common places of fellowship, a wedding. As He celebrated the union of two friends, He found Himself in the midst of His first public miracle. Mary, His mother, knew when crisis struck (the wine was gone) where to go for help. John 2:1-3 reads, “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.”
The idea of running out of wine being a crisis may seem odd to us. After all, why would this be a justifiable cause for a miracle? Furthermore, why would Jesus use this event to display publicly His prowess as the Messiah?
In biblical times wedding ceremonies were even more significant than today. The event often lasted a week or more. If the wine ran out during the celebration, the bride and groom were humiliated. Jesus was fully aware of this Jewish custom, thus He responded with compassion for the wedding party in hopes of seizing a ministry opportunity.
John 2:5-10 reads, “His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”
Keep in mind that none of this would have been possible if Jesus had not been willing to be seen in society. He valued hanging out with the people He came to serve.
When we further look at the story of Jesus in John 2, we see that He did not attend the wedding solely to perform miracles. Instead, Jesus came as a guest, as a friend. He wasn’t there to boast or to show off in order to force others to believe. Jesus’ only concern was to glorify His Father.
The bottom line is that Jesus often ministered through hanging out. He never avoided people or situations for fear of harming His reputation. Whether attending a wedding feast or simply hanging out at a Samaritan well with a woman of shady character, Jesus set the ultimate example for His children to follow in their daily lives. The issue is never self-gratification or gaining public attention; it is rather the imperative to “go” into the world seizing divine moments, always directing people back to Him!
In our next broadcast, we will continue to look at why evangelism is…Hanging Out With a Purpose.