Every person comes to Jesus for a different reason.
I started my search for Jesus because of
- a search for unconditional love
- a purpose greater than my own self.
I had no clue that I was a sinner, or that I needed a Savior.
Sin is not always the starting point
While it is true that our sin is what separates us from God, many people don’t automatically equate the two.
I think of a friend who has led a successful life and wants to do something meaningful in retirement.
I think of a relative who lives alone doing word puzzles all day.
I think of another friend who works hard, loves his family, and raising his kids well.
Each one of my friends does not show a personal worry over sin that separates them from God. Their life seems fine.
I’m sure you know people who don’t think about their sin all the time.
It’s their spiritual thirst that starts the search for Jesus. (Read this tutorial).
Spiritual Thirst is the starting point
I’ve put together a list of encounters with Jesus in the gospels. It’s not exhaustive. As part of today’s prayer activity, pick a few of these stories and ask yourself the question:
What drew this person to seek out Jesus?
Lord, help me to see spiritual thirst in those around me. As I gaze into your word today, help me to see the spiritual thirst that propelled people to seek you.
Here is a list of Jesus encounters. Answer the main question above and then ask the Lord to if any of the friends you are praying for have a similar spiritual thirst.
A list of personal encounters with Jesus
- Son of David, have mercy on me / us. (Matt 9:27; 17:29)
- If I just touch the hem of his garment . . (Matt 9:21)
- Come and follow me, I will make you fishers of men (Matt 4:19)
- Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Filled with compassion, Jesus said, “I am willing” (Matt 8:2; Mark 1:40-41)
- Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering (Matt 8:6)
- He saw a man named Matthew – “Follow me” (Matt 9:9)
- My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession (Matt 15:22)
- Lord, have mercy on my son, I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him (Matt 17:15-16)
- Let the little children come to me (Matt 19:14)
- Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing. (Matt 26:10)
- What do you want with us Jesus of Nazareth, have you come to destroy us? (Mark 1:24)
- Son, your sins are forgiven (Mark 2:5)
- My little girl is dying, please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed an live (Mark 5:23)
- They asked him for a sign from heaven (Matt 16:-14, Mark 8:11-12)
- Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal live (Mark 10:17)
- Shepherds come visit the Christ
- Pagan wise men come to worship and bring their gifts
- A sinful woman anoints the feet of Jesus at the Pharisees house (Luke 7:37-38). Your sins are forgiven.
- Unless you repent, you will all perish. (Luke 13:1-5)
- A woman healed unexpectedly — she was just present when Jesus chose to heal her as a case study (Luke 13:10-13)
- Zaccheus wanted to see who Jesus was (Luke 19:3)
- When the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God” – Mark 15:39
- Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 1:43)
- “You believe because I told you I saw you under a fig tree” (John 1:50)
- He came to Jesus at night. How can this be? (John 3.3)
- How can you ask me, a Samaratian, for a drink (John 4:9)
- Many believed in him because of the woman’s testimony (John 4:39)
- He begged Jesus to come and heal his son (John 4:46)
- Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 4:6) Jesus later spoke to him about repentance
- “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I, go and sin no more.” (John 8.10-11)
- Rabbi – who sinned, this man or his parents? (John 9.1)
Talk #2 in the Fear Free evangelism Study Course is all about spiritual thirst and the role it plays in drawing people to start following Jesus. It is available as a 5 CD set or as a digital download.