And The WINNER Is!

Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. Luke 5:3

Have you ever wondered how Jesus got people to follow Him? Maybe your one of those who think that since he was God, he just cast a spiritual spell on them, or put them under a trance. Or maybe you believe that he pick out the poorest, dirtiest men and promised them something and since they had nothing to hold on to, they followed Him. What was Jesus’ method of winning people to Him?

In Luke 5, Jesus was preaching on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. The crowd was listening intently to Him. But at the corner of His eye, Jesus saw a group of fishermen—Simon Peter and his unsaved friends. They had no interest in spiritual things. Jesus may have been conducting a huge beach rally, but as far as Simon Peter was concerned, he was simply uninterested with whatever the crowd was doing.

Simon Peter and his friends were the typical un-reached and un-churched people of the world. They were only interested in their own livelihood. They had families to feed and bills to pay. They were only concerned about their own survival.

How did Jesus reach out to an uninterested generation? He became a caring soul-winner. Jesus stepped into Simon Peter’s boat. By doing that, He immediately got into “Peter’s world.” The first step in making a difference in a person’s life is to get into his or her world. On the shore, Jesus was standing; but in the boat, He was sitting down. That means Jesus was not in a hurry. He was planning to fellowship for a while.

And please realize, that at that point, Simon Peter was very discouraged. He and his team had “toiled all night and caught nothing” (Luke 5:5). Jesus immediately saw a need and started encouraging Simon Peter. He motivated Peter to try fishing again; this time, with the help of God.

I have found that no matter how hardened a person may be as an unbeliever, when he or she experiences your loving sincerity in (1) spending time to befriend them, (2) encouraging them by giving them a new vision and fresh hope, and (3) meeting their needs practically, then a fourth thing will naturally happen. (4) Peter gave His heart to Jesus and was changed.

This is Jesus’ style of personal evangelism: First, you win them over as your friends.
Then you win them over to the Lord.

Try it for yourself this week.