Showing and Telling the Gospel

“What was it like growing up with the boy Jesus?”

My home church pastor posed that question as I listened to his sermon via live stream from the comfort of my bedroom a few thousand miles away.

It’s an interesting thought, being one of Jesus’ brothers or friends when He was a kid, before His ministry started. Being the friend or sibling of someone Who was always perfect, Whose words always matched His actions, was probably not an easy thing.

Making our own words and actions match isn’t easy either. Because we’re striving to be more like Jesus daily but still going to sin sometimes, we’re prone to mess up and show the people we’re trying to share with that we don’t always reflect the gospel.

Despite the mess-ups we have, isn’t that the message of the gospel? We are imperfect people striving to love a perfect God, which is made possible by the One Who knew no sin, the One Whose words and actions always communicated the gospel.

When we aren’t communicating the gospel with our words and actions together, we’re showing an impartial picture of what the gospel has done for us. When we truly use both, we show those who’ve yet to believe in Jesus that His message is true and it has changed our lives from the inside out.

How did Jesus use His words and actions to communicate the gospel? Whether it was healing the blind, eating with sinners, raising the dead, or any of the multitudes of things Jesus did to show His deity, He said He was God and showed He was God.

Those things all proved Who Jesus was: God in flesh. Without an explanation, any of them on their own give an incomplete picture of Who Jesus is and, in turn, an incomplete picture of the gospel. In a time when sharing the gospel is urgent, we must strive to say and show Who Jesus is completely and truthfully.

Why all this show and tell from Jesus and from us? So that we can see people clearly understand the gospel and profess Jesus as Christ as Peter did in Matthew 16:16.

Jesus said He was God and showed He was God. In the same way, we must not only say we follow Jesus but also show it. We must speak the gospel first and then show it in the way we live.

Emily Todd* is a cross-cultural worker serving among the people of South Asia.

*Name changed.

Back to Top