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Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Friday, 22 July 2016

Acts Day 144 - The Art of Sharing

13:16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. 18 Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. 19 And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.
20 “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ 23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus— 24 after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’
26 “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. 27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. 28 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. 29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead. 31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. 32 And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. 33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.’
34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus:
‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’
35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’
36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; 37 but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:
41
‘Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days,
A work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you.’”

Picture the scene. A group of Jewish worshippers who come weekly to this synagogue. They all know each other. They are comfortable. There is a rhythm to their lives and deep rooted confidence in who they are and what they believe. Into this scene steps Paul and Barnabas. They are new in town. From what I understand it was common practice to offer visitors an opportunity to address the congregation if they had something to share. Whether that is true or not on that particular day they were given the floor.

I want you to note what Paul did. He started on solid ground. He started with a foundation they all shared. He started with what they all had in common. He kept building on that foundation as he moved through the history of the nation of Israel. Step by step he reminded them of their faith journey. By the time he got to Jesus the chain of events and Scriptures used to support what he was saying we're all familiar to them.

 


In simple terms he met them on their ground. Not only was he willing to literally meet them on their turf by going to their synagogue, he also met them where they were in their beliefs. When that common ground was firmly established and affirmed, then and only then did he introduce Jesus.

We don't often share Jesus with Jews or visit synagogues but the principles remain the same. Go to people where they are. Meet them in their comfort zone. Know them. Be familiar with their beliefs. Respect those beliefs. Use those values and perspectives you have in common to build a common ground. Speak their language. Once that rapport is built introduce them to the One who has the best values. Open up to them their world from His perspective.

Meeting people where they are is what Jesus did. We can afford to do no less if we are His followers.

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