Memory Verse Challenge (Week 11) – Witnessing (Matthew 4:19)
by Brian Walters, Director of Discipleship @MBCLouduon
Matthew 4:19 (ESV) – “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
One thing that sticks out to me in this verse, when it comes to witnessing, was Jesus used terminology here that the fishermen (Peter and Andrew) could understand and grasp. This is an important point not to miss because when we witness to others we too need to take our audience into account. Jesus promised Peter and Andrew that just like they caught fish with a net, he would teach them how to catch men and women with a net, which is the gospel.
We see Paul also take his audience into account when he spoke to philosophers in Athens (Acts 17:16-33) leveraging one of their own altars to an unknown god as a doorway to share the gospel. Paul appealed to their religious side knowing Athens was full of idols. We need to be like Paul and Jesus in having the ability of accommodating ourselves to others, understanding them, while we are seeking to lead them into the knowledge of Christ.
While witnessing we also need to remember this doesn’t mean we follow the worldly slogan, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” That would be in direct contradiction to what Scripture says in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from every form of evil.” We still need to keep our eyes focused on Christ and loving our neighbors. Christ does not call us to lose our holiness, but to gain theirs when we are witnessing.
Prayer: Lord, please help us always take our audience into account when witnessing. Please aid us in not using fancy Christian terms and lingo that can trip people up or confuse them. Help us to share your Word in a way that is relevant and impactful. Lastly, please help us not to forget that our actions are just important as our words when witnessing. We pray this all in Jesus precious and holy name.