When Ariana was interviewing to become part of the BCM leadership team, we asked her to pretend one of us was not a Christian and demonstrate how she would share the Gospel.
She brought up the story of Zacchaeus and told an abbreviated version of his story from Luke 19 – that everyone was crowded around Jesus, wanting His time and to find out more about His teaching and more about who He was.
Zacchaeus cheated people, so he knew most people didn’t like him. But he really wanted to see Jesus and to know what the buzz was about, so he climbed a tree to see over the crowd and get a better look.
Jesus saw him and looked right at him and said “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I want to stay at your house today.”
Ariana said, “I realized one day that, like Zacchaeus, I wasn’t a really good person but that Jesus still wanted to know me and spend time with me.”
She then briefly explained the rest of the Gospel and told her friend, “Jesus wants to spend time with you too. He wants you to know him.”
I had never heard Zacchaeus’s story used in evangelism. I loved how it made the desire of Jesus for us to receive Him and know Him so personal, real and relatable.
One of the best elements of BCM ministry is training and encouraging students in how to share the Gospel. Many times the best training and encouragement comes from the students themselves.
Now, every time I read Luke 19 I’m reminded: Jesus wants fellowship with me and with everyone I meet.