Lent V 2021 Passion Sunday Year B
“Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks ...” John 12:20
Today’s Gospel, contains something that is worth focusing on - that is the call to evangelism. The Disciples are asked by the Greeks to show them Jesus and they ask Philip for an introduction.The Greeks have been intrigued by what they had heard of Jesus and were also hungry for his good news. These Greeks had obviously heard of Jesus and his radical preaching and felt that it had something to say to them. They also acknowledged that they needed help accessing an audience with Jesus and that’s why they turned to Philip. Philip became the bridge between the Greeks and Jesus, between those seeking the ‘good news’ and the Good News himself. They need Philip to act as their evangelist and to bring Jesus to them.
This is something that remains true today. The ‘Good News’ of Christ is available to all God’s people but quite often a guide is needed to lead them to what they need to hear. Many also need an interpreter to help them understand what they hear as well. That’s where we followers of Jesus come in.
We are the people who are called to lead others to Christ - to the ‘good news’ and to explain to others what it means to us. We often do this quite naturally when we talk with others about our faith or our church-going. When we do so we are actually being evangelists for Christ - did you ever realise that? Evangelism sounds as though it is something difficult or complicated when in fact it is really very simple. It is as simple as talking about your faith in Jesus or inviting someone to join you at church. There is, however, a question we all need to ask ourselves; ‘How often have I invited someone to come along to church with me and to hear what the Gospel has to say to them?’
A few years ago while on holiday in Gran Canaria I attended the Sunday service in the Anglican Chaplaincy. At the service the priest preached a short homily in which he emphasised the value of reading the Scriptures on a regular basis, and most especially of reading the Gospels - the true good news of Christ. He told a story of how a young man, a confirmed atheist, came to faith after reading St.Mark’s Gospel account. He had given the young man a copy of the Gospel when he had sought him out for guidance and he had also invited him to come back at anytime, to talk again.
Have you ever read the Gospels all the way through? Have you seen how they fit together and how they differ? If you haven’t why not use these last few weeks of Lent to do so. Start with Mark then read Matthew then Luke and end with John. You will no doubt find new things within them, be comforted and encouraged by familiar words and I hope intrigued to read more and find out more about your faith.
For the more Scripture we read the more enthusiasm we can have for sharing the ‘Good News’. The more enthusiasm we have, the more excitement we develop the greater the desire to share that excitement with another is and when you share your insights with another, that’s when you are truly being an evangelist. Who knows it might just be your words that help someone else come to faith?