Knowing Jesus Conclusion
Community Groups Hijacked! Our Gospel Community Groups were hijacked! Like most hijackings, it was for a worthy cause (as defined by the hijacker). We spent six sessions looking at Jesus as He is portrayed in Luke’s Gospel. Of course, this is time well spent. Jesus is the basis of our community. He is the One who brings us together. Nothing makes you want to talk about Jesus more than talking about Jesus. (Here is where Admiral Ackbar of Star Wars fame would say, “It’s a trap!”) This cycle of Gospel Community Groups, whether you realize it or not, was designed to equip you to talk about Jesus—not just among your brothers and sisters in Christ, but to people who do not yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Here is the worthy cause that prompted this hijacking. We’ve sprung the trap. You are better prepared to tell people about Jesus than you may realize.
Actually, your pastors have been transparent in using our groups to rivet your attention on Jesus to equip you to spread this good news. Our assumption is that the four Gospels are 1st-century evangelistic tracts and were composed in such a way as to give people actual, factual reasons to trust Jesus. Luke’s Gospel is the most extensive of these reports and was explicitly written for the benefit of a pagan, non-Jewish, audience. Luke’s listeners were ignorant and uninformed about God, Jesus, and the Bible. This makes Luke’s Gospel more interesting to our contemporaries than you might think. While they are likely familiar with “God, Jesus, and the Bible” terminology, most have never read the Bible and its revelation of God in Christ. Most can only tell you what they have “heard” about it (which is usually inaccurate or erroneous). There are many people “out there” who would like to see if there is anything to this “Jesus thing” that we are so on about. More than you think will consent to a four-session Bible study, especially if they believe you are well informed and genuinely care about them.
If you read the Knowing Jesus blogs and have faithfully attended your group, you have been exposed to the narrative that constitutes “the good news” about Jesus. You have learned about Jesus’ virgin birth, His absolute obedience to God’s will, the favorite subject of His teaching as well as the purpose of Jesus’ signs and wonders. You also saw how Luke’s Gospel climaxes with Jesus’ atoning death on the cross and His glorious resurrection that was confirmed by the empty tomb and by numerous witness who saw Jesus alive and well after His death and burial. You have learned that these events prove Jesus to be the Son of God. This fact reveals the true nature of our sin and drives us to repentance. Reporting these events creates faith in those who hear us and serve as the basis of their confidence in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. Our Knowing Jesus booklets (and workbook) are teaching tools that will help you “get a handle” on the gospel so that you can effectively “hand it” to others. Knowing Jesus is simply getting together with a friend for a guided reading of Luke’s Gospel. All you have to do is let the gospel speak for itself and try to give an honest answer to whatever honest questions your friend may have.
The problem with most methods of evangelism “out there” is that they usually don’t tell people enough about Jesus. Many think that mentioning Jesus by name and tossing around a few well-worn slogans is “witnessing”. They assume people know Jesus’ story. They assume too much. Biblical illiteracy is the norm (even for church attendees). People are familiar with religious rhetoric and treat it as such. They do not know who or what we are talking about. At HighView we are trying to equip you with a clear, coherent, and comprehensive knowledge of the gospel narrative and its saving benefits. While it is urgent for people to trust in Christ, we must be well prepared to spread the good news. Our Lord calls us to “make disciples” by patiently and lovingly telling His story. Through Luke’s Gospel, Jesus speaks for Himself through word and deed. All we have to do is make the case for Jesus that Scripture makes. Knowing Jesus is not a new method of evangelism; it is the original method of Christian witness. Your pastors stand ready to help you learn how to use Luke’s Gospel to do what it does—to give people actual, factual reasons to trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord!