Engaging with those who don’t know Jesus
By Natasha Padilla, Disciplemakers for Life — Then they said to each other, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” 2 Kings 7:9 (ESV)
The Bible tells of a devastating siege that the Syrian army imposed upon the people of Israel who lived in the city of Samaria. The siege was designed to starve the inhabitants of the city into either surrender or military powerlessness. The situation became so desperate that the people resorted to cannibalism. In the midst of this horrifying siege, four lepers—already outcasts at the city gate—consider throwing themselves at the mercy of the Syrian enemy.
One commentator on this biblical episode notes: “It suddenly dawns on the lepers that they have absolutely nothing to lose! They can’t go inside the city (they’re lepers) and they can’t just sit there and starve to death. They realize they have only one option that doesn’t guarantee death: go out to the army camp and surrender to the Syrians. If the Syrians let them live, they’ll at least be able to eat and stay alive. If the Syrians kill them, they’ll just die a little quicker.” - Rabbi Glenn
I find it amazing how much clarity we can have when we’re out of options. It’s when we come to the end of ourselves—the very place God wants to meet us—that we become poor in spirit. The lepers were broken men, outcast, depleted of all resources; this led them to the point that they would even dare to consider going and asking mercy from their enemies.
As ironic as it seems, the lepers’ desperation turned out to be their salvation! They found the Syrian camp abandoned, for the Lord had caused the Syrians to hear the threatening sound of horses and chariots. The Syrians fled in haste, believing the Hittites and Egyptians were coming against them. The lepers found food, drink, clothing, and great riches.
After joyfully partaking of it, they said: “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” They knew they had life-giving provisions before them that needed to be shared!
Friends, we are immersed in great deprivation with men and women spiritually starving. We don’t have to look far to see people broken, lost, in despair, and doing the unthinkable to survive. They need life-giving hope; they need the good news of the Gospel!
Part of our Navigator calling is to be living and discipling among the lost. This is the day of good news! Are we keeping it to ourselves and remaining silent? Our Messiah has come and saved us! In Him, we have spiritual food, clothing and riches that lead us to eternal life. Take a look:
“Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 (NIV)
“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:27 (NIV)
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7 (ESV)
As we feast on the Word of God, experience being clothed in His presence, and delight in the riches of His grace, let's be compassionate to not hoard the Gospel for ourselves. May we obey Jesus’ command:"Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15 (NLT)
What are the best messages you’ve heard that teach evangelism or present the Gospel?
What are your best Bible stories or verses for sharing the Gospel?
How about the story of the Prodigal Son?
For reference, here is the “official” Navigators Wheel Illustration webpage