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Sermon: How Did All of Those People Know about Jesus?

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How Did All of Those People Know about Jesus?

What is the most effective evangelism method ever?

Zechariah 3.6–10

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • May 27, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. Imagine that our town existed 1900 years ago.
    1. Television does not exist.
    2. Radio does not exist.
    3. The Internet, along with all that it enables, does not exist.
    4. Phones and cell phones have not yet come into existence.
  2. How would our town have learned of news events?
    1. The only two sources that I can think of are
      1. word-of-mouth and
      2. a town crier.
    2. Therefore, if anything happens, and throngs of people are there,
      1. they all heard about it from someone who invited them to that event or
      2. they heard it from a town crier, who got his information word-of-mouth.
  3. Then one day a man known as Jesus enters town, walking down 6th Street.
    1. You are on the other side of the street,
      1. also walking toward downtown and
      2. you see Him walking down the road.
    2. You continue into town.
      1. Then once you have completed your affairs in town,
      2. you head back home,
        1. walking up 6th Street.
        2. You see Him again and
          1. this time about 100 people stand around Him.
          2. As you continue to walk,
            1. you see other people walking toward Him, but
            2. you notice that no one walks there alone.
    3. Then someone stops you and says,
      1. Come, you need to hear what this man is saying and what He is doing.
      2. So you go.


  1. The Most Effective Evangelism Method Ever
    1. Consider several events from Scripture.
    2. How did all those people know of the preaching of John the Baptist?
      1. Matthew 3 shows many people going to John, but
        1. the text does not say how they found out about him.
        2. Perhaps the reason is obvious.

          4 Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3.4–7).
      2. John recognized that those people had heard an invitation.
    3. How did all those people know about Jesus?
      1. How did they know where He was?
      2. John 1 shows a process that is so simple,
        1. we may miss it, because
        2. we are looking for the ultimate evangelism trick,

          40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone) (John 1.40–42).
      3. John 1.43–46

        43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see” (John 1.43–46).
      4. John 4.28–30

        28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him (John 4.28–30).
      5. John 12.17–18

        17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign (John 12.17–18).
    4. How did people in towns know of the apostles?
      1. Sometimes, people had already gathered for some spiritual purpose,
        1. as in Acts 2 for the regular Jewish feast of Pentecost or
        2. as in Acts 3 at the hour of prayer at the temple in Jerusalem or
        3. at the many synagogues that the apostles visited.
      2. However, in other cases somehow crowds came to hear
        1. as in Acts 13.42–44

          42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God (Acts 13.42–44).
        2. as in Acts 28.22–23

          22 “But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.” 23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening (Acts 28.22–23).
  2. These Passages Fulfilled Prophecy
    1. All the passages that I just showed you,
      1. fulfill prophecy.
      2. And you have done something that the prophets addressed and
        1. when you did,
        2. you also fulfilled prophecy.
    2. Isaiah 2.2–4 and Micah 4.1–3 (Let’s consider Micah since we rarely hear him)

      1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
      That the mountain of the LORD’S house
      Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
      And shall be exalted above the hills;
      And peoples shall flow to it.
      2 Many nations shall come and say,
      “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
      To the house of the God of Jacob;
      He will teach us His ways,
      And we shall walk in His paths.”
      For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
      And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
      3 He shall judge between many peoples,
      And rebuke strong nations afar off;
      They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
      And their spears into pruning hooks;
      Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
      Neither shall they learn war anymore.
      (Micah 4.1–3)
    3. Zechariah 3.6–10

      6 Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying,
      7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts:
      ‘If you will walk in My ways,
      And if you will keep My command,
      Then you shall also judge My house,
      And likewise have charge of My courts;
      I will give you places to walk
      Among these who stand here.
      8 “Hear, O Joshua, the high priest,
      You and your companions who sit before you,
      For they are a wondrous sign;
      For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
      9 For behold, the stone
      That I have laid before Joshua:
      Upon the stone are seven eyes.
      Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’
      Says the LORD of hosts,
      ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
      10 In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts,
      ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor
      Under his vine and under his fig tree.’”
      (Zechariah 3.6–10)


  1. Did you figure out what happened in these passages?
    1. It was just simply inviting people.
    2. Some evangelism methods get so complicated
      1. that I am surprised anyone ever gets converted.
      2. Does evangelism seem complicated to you in the Bible?
  2. Some methods of evangelism discourage inviting people to worship.
    1. I believe this diminishes the church in the eyes of people.
    2. World Bible School teachers,
      1. let your students know that you are members of the Church of Christ and
      2. invite them to services here.
  3. I wanted to present five lessons in May, but
    1. the passing of my father
    2. kept me from presenting them.
      1. However, I want to do them in June and
      2. they are all designed for you to invite your family and friends to hear them.
        1. I am taking the lessons from an old source that was highly successful.
        2. However, its presentation became outdated.
          1. It was used in people’s homes, but
          2. I will deliver them as sermons here.
    3. The series is very good because it ties the whole Bible together for people.
      1. The series described itself as,
      2. “An Objective Survey of the Bible and Church History.”
    4. Here is the material I will present.
      1. The Patriarchal Age
      2. The Mosaic Age
      3. The Christian Age
      4. God’s Plan for Redeeming Man
      5. History of the Lord’s Church (May do this June 24th in the evening or July)
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