The Christ was “all about” evangelism! He came into this world to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). That involved Him communicating God’s truth to those who were lost in sin.
When we say “evangelism,” we mean proclaiming the gospel to lost people. It may be done with a written message or by oral teaching, but it is essential that we recognize this truth: where there is no communication, there is no evangelism. One may feel the need to try and prepare the soil in some instances, but until we actually sow the seed (Luke 8:15), there is no possibility to have a harvest of saved souls.
Yes, Jesus sent others out to preach to lost sheep (Matthew 10:5-7), but He Himself practiced evangelism, too. On one occasion, when the apostles told Him that people were looking for Him, He said, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth” (Mark 1:38). He stayed committed to that task.
Jesus showed compassion on people, and that included being moved by seeing sheep in a lost state. “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). That is the time He told the apostles to pray for God to send laborers into His harvest (Matthew 9:38).
Jesus traveled extensively in order to evangelize, more than once traveling throughout all the villages of Galilee and speaking in the synagogues (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; Luke 8:1). That was no small task, as the Jewish historian Josephus noted that in the first century, there were more than 200 villages in Galilee!
At times, the Christ presented God’s truth to large crowds. When a great number of people were within hearing range, He taught them (Luke 14:25). That was His habit: “And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again” (Mark 10:1).
In other cases, we see Jesus taking the time to show attention to and teach individuals. Look at how He dealt with Nicodemus (John 3), a woman from Samaria (John 4), and Simon, a Pharisee (Luke 7).
Another aspect of the Master’s outreach to the lost was the frequency with which He taught. Hear His own words about His approach: “I was daily with you in the temple teaching . . .” (Mark 14:49).
There is so much for modern-day Christians to learn from Jesus’ approach to evangelism. He practiced it. He had a passion for it. He stuck with it. And, He did it because He cared about men’s souls!
— Roger D. Campbell