Hopelessness is being perpetuated by the news that the world puts its faith in.
In order for us to be effective in the topic of touch evangelism, we need to be selling something different than the world. We need to be peddlers of hope.
This hope does not pay attention to the fake news of this world but focuses its attention on the Good News of the Gospel.
Revelation 21:4 “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
If we wait for the Lord,
We will gain new strength;
We will mount up with wings like eagles,
We will run and not get tired,
We will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)
A peddler is someone that moves from place to place selling an item, an idea, or a view.
Jesus provides us example after example in His Word of how He went from place to place and showed people their need for hope that lay only in Him.
In John 5, we find Jesus at a moment in His ministry where He demonstrates a beautiful example of tough evangelism and a moment where He restores hope in the hopeless.
John 5:2-9 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted. A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.
Profile of hopelessness in this man:
– Ill; weakness in the original text; the man was paralyzed.
– 38 years; longevity breeds hopelessness.
– Alone; I have no one to put me in the water.
– Defeated; he never came in first when the water was stirred; repeated disappointment and defeat.
The world today looks a lot like this broken man.
But, Jesus brought hope to a hopeless situation; it is only in Him that we will see hope in this one.
3 Take-Aways from Jesus’ Interaction:
1. We have to see people.
– Verse 6 says that Jesus first saw the man.
– Jesus didn’t see a man that was supposed to be lame by a well; He saw a man that was supposed to get up and walk.
– In order for us to bring hope to the hopeless, our lives have to do the same. We have to see the person and not the sin.
2. We have to remove aloneness.
– When Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed, his response was that he had no one to put him into the pool.
– Why didn’t any of the people in the community help those that were lying waiting to be healed?
– Why didn’t any of the people that sat with this man year after year and were healed go back to help him?
3. We have to tell them the truth!
– Jesus told the man to rise, take up his bed, and walk. What He told him was true because the results were immediate.
– When we tell people about Jesus, we are showing them the Way, the Truth, and the Life they are receiving. (John 14:6)
– We can’t hold back or delay. We have to let them know that they can get up and walk.
– We need to tell people the truth about who they are supposed to be not who they are today.
Peddlers of hope:
– See people.
– Remove their aloneness.
– Tell people the truth; tell people to get up and walk.
Who has God put in your life that needs hope?
If you feel hopeless, you know that:
– Jesus sees you.
– He wants to remove the loneliness.
– He wants you to get up and walk.
– He wants to give you hope!
– What would your life look like today if that person had not told you the truth about Jesus?
– Who has God put in your life that needs hope?