• Mike Dominick

Vision: To Go Witness

D. T. Niles, Ceylonese pastor, evangelist and President of the Methodist Conference of Ceylon, said, "Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread."

In the Gospel of John, chapter four, Jesus travels through Samaria and stops at a well. He engages a woman who comes alone to draw water from the well. During the conversation, Jesus tells the woman something He has no way of knowing - that she is not married, has had five husbands, and is living now with a man who is not her husband. At the end of their conversation, this happens:

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward Him. (John 4:28-30 NIV)

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days. And because of His words many more became believers. (John 4:39-41 NIV)

This is a picture of one beggar telling another beggar where to find Bread. This woman at the well is not a pastor. She has no Bible degree or evangelism training. She has a sordid past and is living a scandalous life. But she meets Jesus and everything changes. And she's just got to tell somebody!

Every one of us is an evangelist. We all witness to others about the good things we find in life. "Gasoline is only $2.959 at Sam's Club!" "They have great food and amazing service at the Angry Donkey in Michigantown." "I got a great deal on a car from Mo over at Twin City Dodge." When we find something good, it's natural to tell somebody! That's witnessing. That's one beggar telling another beggar where to find Bread.

I met Jesus personally when I was fifteen years old through the witness of many people. Two people were central in my coming to know Christ. One was the Pastor at the Lutheran church where I grew up, who led me through three years of every-Wednesday-evening Confirmation Class and explained the faith to me in terms I could understand. The other was my then-girlfriend (now wife of 50+ years) Shirley, who embodied the love of Jesus, prayed for me, talked about her faith and led me into youth group and worship at her Evangelical United Brethren (EUB for short) church. I met people with a personal relationship with Jesus, and I wanted it. And I found it!

The most effective way for the Christian faith to spread is not by telegram, telephone or television. It's by tell-a-person! Faith in Jesus Christ is not so much taught as it is caught because an excited, transparent person of faith lives it out and tells others about how good it is to belong to Jesus and follow Him.

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Being a witness for Jesus is living a life that points people to Him. It's one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. It's showing kindness. It's sacrificing for others. It's praying with folks. It's telling what Jesus has done for us.

And it's not just that we are called to be witnesses. We are witnesses. Our lives do make a witness, one way or another. The question is: Does the witness of my life point people toward Jesus, or away from Him? Does my life exalt Jesus, or disrespect Him?

When the Holy Spirit moves into our lives and takes up residence, He begins to renovate our lives and change our attitudes and desires. Part of that transforming work is to cause us to care that other people know Christ as we have come to know Him. With the same enthusiasm and joy we exude when we let others know about a great restaurant or the great deal on gasoline we got at the station down the street, let's share how great Jesus is. Let's let other beggars know where they can find the Bread of Life. Let's Go Witness!

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