Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Ulterior Motive of an Evangelist

That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes,
which we have looked upon,
and our hands have handled,
concerning the Word of life—  the life was manifested,
and we have seen,
and bear witness,
and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father
and was manifested to us—  
that which we have seen and heard we declare to you,
that you also may have fellowship with us;
and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” – 1 John 1:1-4

The Apostle John shows such love for Christ in this passage, describing Christ.  He says that He and the apostles (“we”) had heard His voice, seen Him with their own eyes, touched His flesh, which is the meaning of Christ being manifested.  Manifested in its Greek origin is phaneroĊ (Strongs G5319), which is defined as making visible and realized, making known by teaching, exposed to view, understood for who and what one is.

Then John turns to the response for having seen Christ and known Him in the flesh by saying that they bear witness of Him, they declare Him, they declare Him to us that haven’t seen Him.  And again, out of love this is done so that we can “have fellowship with us”, meaning the apostles, by experiencing what they have experienced.  And then John clarifies by saying “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ”, meaning that even though we would share the same understanding of Christ with them, we would all be drawn into friendship with God the Father, and Jesus, His son. 

Have you ever wondered what ulterior motive an evangelists has?  What causes a man to leave his family to proclaim the gospel, losing friends, and risking his life?  John slips the motive in verse 4 when he says “that your joy may be full”.  John was also called “John the Beloved” based on his own words in John 20:2 where he refers to himself as “the other disciple, whom Jesus loved”.  John knew Jesus loved him, and because he was loved, he wanted others to be loved as well. 

The love for mankind in combination with love for Jesus Christ is the ulterior motive for a truly called man of God to spread the gospel.  It’s not for money, fame, or fortune, but to see others fall in love with the One they love most.  When you truly love someone, you want share them, to see others appreciate the person they are.  You introduce them to your friends and family.  It brings joy to your heart when you see the one you love being loved by others.  This is why we share Christ.  We want nothing more than to find others who delight in Him the way we do.  From that love, our own joy grows.

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