“Go therefore and make disciples…” We talked about that last week. We want to be disciples who make disciples. But discipleship can’t begin until evangelism has taken place. Telling other people about Jesus isn’t an optional part of a healthy Christian life, it’s an integral part of it.
“So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Luke 15:3-7 NASB
When the Bible talks about sheep, it’s often a metaphor for people and that’s definitely the case here. The obvious point of the story is that everyone has value and God will go to great lengths to pursue them. He is the Good Shepherd. But if we are going to make disciples, we need to stop thinking like sheep.
- It’s not my gifting
- I don’t have time
- It’s someone else’s job
- I need to work on me first
- I don’t know what to do
- I’m too shy (or scared)
The 99 make excuses and discipleship suffers. They flock together in holy huddles, cheering gladly and gratefully for the protection and provision the shepherd offers, but when it comes to evangelism they get very quiet and hope the shepherd will handle it. That’s how sheep think, when they bother to think at all. We need to think like shepherds.
“But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.””
1 Samuel 17:34-37 NASB
David was a shepherd. When he tackled Goliath he used a sling, but Goliath was nothing compared to lions and bears he’d tackled with his bare hands. He had the mentality of a shepherd, willing to do whatever is necessary to care for his flock. He fought wild beasts and enemy champions. All you have to do is invite someone to church. Tell someone what Jesus means to you. Share the story of God’s work in your life. How hard is that?!