John 1:43-46 (NIV): The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.
Notice how naturally the invitation is passed among those who know each other. Andrew finds Jesus to be the Savior, the Messiah, so he immediately finds his brother, Simon, and tells him, “We have found the Messiah!” and brings him to meet Jesus. Philip is called by Jesus, “Follow Me,” and the first thing he does is to find Nathanael and tell him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about…Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
None of these men had received training in evangelism. None of them had been given a pile of tracts to hand out. None of them had been given a list of Scriptures or “difficult questions” to memorize. They had simply found in Jesus their Savior, their Messiah, and they invited those they knew and cared about close to Jesus so they could experience Him for themselves.
By the way, this is the same powerful and effective method being used all over the world today to bring whole families, whole communities into the kingdom. Immediately after receiving new life in Jesus, these new followers rush out to tell their families and friends, “We have found the Savior – let me introduce you to Him.” And they simply show these loved ones the Jesus who saved them, the same way that they found Him. And, far from producing disciples that are inferior to those produced by the more “programmed” methods of the west, the disciples produced by “contagion” are powerful and steadfast, holding firm to their faith even when persecution follows soon after they enter the way of discipleship.
Philip was immediately challenged by Nathanael about his declaration that Jesus was the Messiah. He didn’t believe it. It didn’t fit his mental template of who and what the Messiah should be. But Philip knew who Jesus was – he had experienced His presence and His power, and no doubt cast on Jesus by others could shake his faith. Notice that Philip did not engage in a long list of intellectual “proofs” of Jesus’ Messiahship. He simply invited Nathanael to “Come and see.” He knew that no arguments would do as much for Nathanael as a simple personal encounter with the One who had changed his own life. No hours of reasoning could do as much as a single moment in the presence of Jesus Himself.
Father, this is all so simple; much simpler than we usually try to make it. And our more complex, more studied, more sophisticated methods don’t produce this good a fruit! Help us, Lord, to shed the programs we have burdened ourselves with, the lists and techniques that we have learned, and get back to YOUR method of simply telling those we care about, those we meet, “We have found the Savior! Come and see!” And then bringing them to You for the transformation that only You can give. Amen.