Evangelism in John 1:43f

Dale Bruner

In all three recorded evangelistic encounters so far the messenger is absolutely convinced of the truthfulness of what he is saying. Not one of the three speakers thus far doubts the reality of his subject: John’s Lamb of God; Andrew’s four-o’clock Messiah; and now Philip’s just experienced recruitment encounter with the Man himself and so his pitch to Nathanael. Reality speaks to reality, deep to deep. In all these evangelistic stories people really are doing what comes naturally; their evangelism in all three cases is not forced or from guilt (“I had better witness to somebody today”); yet the supernatural is in play all along. I see no techniques of evangelism, either, nor personal manipulation, nor unreal interaction in any of our recorded meetings (though, again, Jesus’ giving Peter his nickname is a little surprising). I see people talking to people about very important matters, and I see excited meetings, one by one (or one by two, as with the Baptist and his disciples), and so, slowly but surely, the Church is coming into being and growing. Her birth begins with a preacher’s honest enthusiasm, it continues with family sharing, and it comes full term in a friendly, enthusiastic conversation.

Bruner, F. D. (2012). The Gospel of John: A Commentary (p. 109). Grand Rapids, MI;Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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