· · · · · · ·

Love Like Jesus: How to Spread the Gospel Naturally and Authentically

We’re here to help you learn and grow, so naturally, we share affiliate links for products that we use and love. When you click on one of these links, we will earn a small amount of money, at no additional cost to you, which we’ll use towards keeping the lights on here! You can read our full disclaimer here.

Listen to the Audio version | Reading Time: 5 minutes

When I discover something that makes my life better, such as a life-changing book, a delicious recipe, or a powerful passage of Scripture, I want everyone to know about it! But when it came to sharing about Jesus Christ, my Savior, who has transformed my life, I didn’t have the same enthusiasm. 

If I am honest, there have been many times in my life when sharing the Gospel felt as exciting as going to the dentist–an obligation that stirred up guilt, anxiety, and awkwardness. I am not proud of that. But in the past few years, Jesus has challenged me to connect with people the way He did, which has changed my heart from being anxious to share, in a negative way, to being anxious to share, in a positive way!

Jesus just modeled how to connect people to God

Raised in a Christian home, I have heard lots of teachings and sermons on how to lead people to Christ, most of which included how to present the Gospel and “close the deal” in a single interaction. I am not good at closing a deal when buying furniture, so this model set me up for insecurity, lack of confidence, and ultimately failure. 

During a recent transition in our lives, my husband and I  recognized that we knew no pre-believers. As we prayed about how to connect people to Jesus, in our spirits we heard one word: Love. 

That one word transformed our perspective of seeing pre-believers as “projects” to thinking of them as friends and soon-to-be family. With Jesus as our example, we are learning to step out of our comfort zone, follow His lead, and carry the love of God to those who don’t yet know Him.

When Jesus interacted with anyone, He carried love.

Jesus positioned Himself among pre-believers

In John 4, as Jesus traveled from Judea to Galilee, He chose a route through Samaria that would cause Him to intersect with pre-believers. In a contrast, we Christians often choose to isolate ourselves from pre-believers for a myriad of reasons: 

  • We don’t feel like we have anything in common.
  • They are needy, and we don’t have the time or energy.
  • It’s uncomfortable.
  • We don’t even like them.

But when we choose to be near those who don’t yet know our Lord, we are opening the door for a possible connection.

Location. Location. Location. A light shines brightest in the dark.

Jesus met people naturally and connected authentically

Throughout the gospels, Jesus taught large groups but more often brought the power of God to just one:

The Samaritan woman from John 4 knew that Jesus had several culturally acceptable reasons not to engage her:

  1. Jewish culture dictated that men were not able to converse with women who were not relatives, particularly in rural villages like Sychar in Samaria (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, 2016).
  2. Jews didn’t interact with Samaritans, a half-Jew half-Gentile race who had established their own unique Torah and temple where they worshiped. 
  3. There had been incidents of heckling and even violence as Galileans passed through Samaria, the shortest route on their way to Jerusalem (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, 2016).

And yet Jesus rejected the cultural standards of the day, which surprised his disciples (John 4:27). Instead, He initiated and pursued a conversation with someone who expected to be rejected by Him. Jesus didn’t make Himself the main topic of the conversation, but He directed the attention to the goodness of His Heavenly Father.  

Even when the woman pointed out differences between what they believed (John 4:20), Jesus didn’t argue but instead chose to redirect the conversation to what they shared in common, their anticipation of the coming Messiah. 

Conversations open doors. No heart is too hard, no life too lost.

Jesus connected her need to supernatural provision

Jesus encountered many desperate people in need of a miracle. His first response was not to lecture them about what they had done wrong or how they needed to change. With genuine compassion, He met their needs supernaturally, often by a simple spoken word. 

  • For the deaf-mute man in Mark 7:33-35, He prayed, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly (Mark 7:33-35, ESV). 
  • To the woman who touched the hem of his garment, He said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. (Matthew 9:20-22, ESV). 

For the Samaritan woman at the well, “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.’” John 4:13-14, NLT 

Jesus was in a position to give her natural water, but He knew it was not able to quench the thirst of her soul. Instead, He offered her living water.

Supernatural power precedes supernatural belief. God’s power opens minds.

Jesus’ influence changed lives forever

When the disciples returned, they didn’t say a word to Jesus or the woman. The conversation ended. She left her jar at the well and went back to town. It seemed that the encounter had no visible effect on her. 

But her heart had changed. The woman returned to town and told the people about her encounter with Jesus. She even asked, “Could he possibly be the Messiah?” John 4:29b, NLT 

The people of the Samaritan town were so impacted by what they heard that they broke the cultural standard so they could see this prophet Jesus for themselves. 

Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 
John 4:39-41, NLT

Jesus didn’t ask her if she believed, and there was no “close the deal” prayer. It could’ve appeared that her conversation with Jesus had had no impact. In reality, she couldn’t help but share about the power she experienced and the Source of that power. 

Following Jesus is more than a logical choice. It is the work of the Holy Spirit.

In John 4:4-30, 39-42, Jesus modeled how we can connect with pre-believers. Because He loved, He left the comfort of His community and intentionally positioned Himself where He could naturally and authentically connect with individuals who held different beliefs. He did not argue or try to solve their problems, but listened to their concerns and connected them to supernatural power that forever changed their lives. 

Jesus’ example has given my husband and me a new perspective on how to introduce people to our Savior and set us free from the expectations of the past. 

Through conversations and kindness, we choose to introduce people to the Most High God by showing them how Jesus feels about them. No pushiness. No obligation. No awkwardness. No judgment. Just extravagant love and the Holy Spirit’s power.

Think about it

Think about the people you regularly come in contact with. Is there someone that God is prompting you to connect with and love extravagantly? If not, pray for someone to connect with and keep your eyes open!

You could bake some cookies, be a listening ear, or send a text or post on social media to say hello, check-in, or share an encouraging word from God. 

What one thing will you do this week to show someone the love of Jesus?

For further study

More about Samaritans at: https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_1319.cfm 


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.