“Jesus taught with unique authority, convinced that his teachings corresponded directly to the reality of the way life actually works. He embodied and presented not a theoretical construct, but a path for becoming fully human and awake to our Creator. Like a produce vendor offering free samples at the farmer’s market, Jesus seemed to take a “try before you buy” approach. He invited those who were skeptical about the the divine origins of his message to test the authenticity of his teaching through experiments in obedience – confident that the truth of what he taught could be proven by experience: “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17). The way of Jesus can be verified by direct experience and must be practiced to be understood. Through shared practices of obedience we can know the truth of what Jesus taught about the reality of God’s kingdom. In the well-known parable of the wise and foolish builders, Jesus makes the point clear that putting the teachings into practice is not merely an option – it is the difference between safety and destruction.”
To participate is the grand call of God in the life of Jesus. We must be careful then, as we share the gospel that we do not get caught up in mere words. If our words do not offer the mutual participation in the obedience to God in our particular place and time we become a loud, noisy gong.
May our ‘evangelism’ be an invitation to participate!
What does it look like for you to offer an invitation to participate in your context?