One Size Does Not Fit All
Another thing about Jesus’ approach to people is that there was no one approach, no pattern really, to follow or script to memorize. Take his healings, for example. Jesus healed people in various ways – sometimes healing two people with the same malady in different ways. He healed some people with a word, others with a touch, others with mud he had made from his own saliva. He rarely healed the same way twice.
We tend to want a more standardized approach. Tell me how to heal blindness, and I’ll do the same thing every time. Jesus preferred to tailor his healings to suit the individual, and this is the same thing he did with his conversations.
But we want a script. Give me something I can memorize and recite when I come in contact with a non-Christian, and I will follow that script in every conversation I have. I will consider it a “win” if I make it through the script. Never mind if it’s not working.
But the Bible, Jesus and those who knew him demonstrated a decidedly different approach.
Mars Hill, in Athens, was obsessed with rhetoric and clever ideas. So, that’s how the Apostle Paul approached them with the gospel. Ephesus, on the other hand, was obsessed with magic and power. So, the Apostle Paul delivered the gospel to them in the midst of a flurry of signs and wonders.
In other words, the message of the gospel was delivered in different ways depending on the audience. No pre-packaged, ready-made, one-size-fits-all script to follow. The approach our Bible friends used required listening to and learning from the people with whom they wanted to communicate.
That has implications, doesn’t it?