3) Evangelism was and still is the heartbeat of Jesus
The Son was sent to this earth for the very purpose of evangelizing the lost – “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). This iswhat Jesus did throughout His earthly sojourn. It was His main focus – yes He did do other things – like teach, heal, and cast out demons – but even those things were meant to contribute to, and multiply the work of evangelism. Healings and miracles would confirm the messages that He spoke and were used to draw men onto himself. The teachings were training His disciples to continue on the work of evangelism once He departed. What did Jesus come to do? He tells us with his own words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18). Jesus came to preach the good news – and these verses confirm to us again the fact that the signs and wonders often accompany the evangelistic message. This was the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is also the work of the evangelist – Preach the Gospel – expect signs to follow the preaching of the Word!
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (36) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (37) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; (38) Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:35-38).
The Lord Jesus was nearly “overwhelmed” with the fact that there are so many people out there who are “lost” – a sheep without a shepherd is a lost and wandering sheep. The heartbeat of Jesus was that there would be more laborers who would help to evangelize these lost sheep. This is still Jesus’ heart today – He is still seeking for the lost – He is still looking for laborers. Jesus is the same today He still has the same heart now as He did when He was walking the earth in His mortal body (cf. Heb 13:8). The only difference now is that He is seeking the lost through US – His “new body” (1 Cor 12:27). We are His arms to help the needy; we are His legs to take the Gospel to the nations; and we are His voice to herald the good news to the hurting torn world in desperate need of something other than more bad news.
Do you have the same heartbeat? Will you be willing to be one of those who will go and seek the lost – to be a laborer in the field of the world – to evangelize? Jesus’ last night on this earth He had supper with His disciples. There is a beautiful scene where John, the beloved, is leaning on the breast of our Lord. In this scene –we can only conclude that John could hear the heartbeat of his friend and Master (John 13:23). This scene should be repeated, in one sense, in our walk with the Lord – the closer we get to Jesus in our walk with Him, the more we should be hearing His heartbeat for the lost. Sometimes, with good intentions of drawing closer to the Lord, and becoming more like Him we actually become more “me” focused and introspective. We can become so focused on “going on to perfection” or going “up to Zion” that we forget about ministering to the lost. Both of these issues are important – we need to find the balance in our lives and in our ministries.