In the Old Testament book of 2 Kings chapter 7, there is an interesting account of the siege of Samaria. King Benhadad, an enemy of the Samaritans, had surrounded their city. He had cut off all of the food, water, and supplies. It was already a time of famine and Benhadad was determined that he was going to starve the Samaritans into surrender and he nearly succeeded. Inside the city of Samaria, things were desperate - a woman was so hungry she killed her own child and ate it in an effort to survive. Meanwhile there were 4 lepers sitting at the city gate. One of them said “Look, if we just sit here we are going to starve to death. It’s time to do something. Why don’t we just walk into the enemy camp. They might kill us, but maybe they will take us prisoner, put us in a cell and there we will at least be fed. Either way we’ve got nothing to lose. So they walked toward the enemy camp. But as they approached the camp, the Lord caused a strange noise to surround the enemy camp. It sounded like a tornado. The soldiers in the camp panicked and thought it was the sound of horses of an army that had come to save the Samaritans and so they all fled in a panic leaving behind all of their provisions. The lepers enter the enemy camp with their hands up, but no one was there. And so they walked in to the mess hall and there was food spread out on the table. They ate until they were full. They walked through the tents and found clothing, jewelry, which they began to take and hide. One of the lepers said, “Hey, this isn’t right, this is wonderful news and we aren’t sharing it with anyone. Let’s go back to the city and tell the people what we have discovered.” So they went back to the city on a mission. That mission was to tell their community that the siege was over, that there is food for the hungry, clean clothes, an unlimited supply of water for their thirsty soul. But the people of Samaria were hesitant to believe them. The news was too good to be true. It had to be a trap set by the enemy. So the lepers had a difficult time convincing the people that it was true. Finally, the people believed and ran to take advantage of the food that God had provided.
Now, that true story contains a parable for us. We have found food for our hungry souls. We have drunk from the well that never runs dry. We have found salvation. We have found riches in the form of community, opportunities to share life. But if we care anything about other people, we realize that it is wrong not to share the good news with them. Especially the people we know – family members, friends who don’t go to church anywhere. Or some who are just going through the motions, but are spiritually starving to death. And when you tell them what you have found in Christ, they look at you like it is almost too good to be true.
So, what do you do? How do we persuade them to come to Christ and be fed?
In the New Testament book of 2 Corinthians Chapter 5 we are given the essential elements that each of us need to vest ourselves in personally as we fulfill this mission that Jesus has given us to Go, Baptize and to Teach others to obey His commands. This weekend we close out our Discover Me series by looking at the 5 essential needs of a person outside of Christ and how we fulfill our mission by engaging all 5 with our own personal response to the Gospel.
Here are those five basic needs.
#1) A relationship with an authentic fully devoted follower of Christ.
#2) A picture of the real Jesus lived out in front of them.
#3) Evidence of Christ in you and answers to some of life’s hard questions.
#4) An explanation of the gospel message.
#5) An invitation to respond. An invitation to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Think about these and then join us this weekend on Sunday at 10:30. On Saturday night we will be celebrating our week of VBS at the Jeff Aquatic Center.