The Bible is filled with many accounts of Jesus’ interactions with people. He developed personal connections throughout His life on earth. He was on a mission to save lives and lived His life as a redemptive example for us.
One example of what happened when Jesus interacted with people is seen in the story about His experience with the woman at the well (John 4:1-26). Jesus stopped by Jacob’s well ostensibly to rest, and there He met a Samaritan woman from a nearby village. He conversed with the woman who had a particular reputation because of her lifestyle. As a result of her encounter with Jesus, her life, and that of many other Samaritans, was changed.
Another example is found in the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). Zacchaeus was a tax collector whose actions reminded the people of their enslavement to the empire, often leaving them feeling as if God had forsaken them. Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house for dinner, and when the crowd saw it, they complained that He was meeting with a sinner (Luke 19:7). In those days, if you hung out with a tax collector, you would be judged and looked down upon. Jesus’ motive for being where He was had life-changing implications for Zacchaeus.
Finally, there is the story of Jesus’ encounter with the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-8), who was in that condition for a long time. “Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked” (verses 6, 8, 9). Jesus intentionally went to the place where the paralyzed man was; as a result, the man was healed, and his life was forever changed.
Jesus’ compassion is worthy of note: “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 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 9:35-38.
In His short time on earth, Jesus showed genuine compassion for people in need of a Savior. After Jesus’ resurrection and before He returned to His Father, He gave His disciples an assignment. He told them, “ ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen”—Matthew 28:18-20.
Jesus left the disciples with some important instructions. They were to go and make more disciples, baptize them, and nurture them in the faith. Christ promised to be with them always. The disciples were to be the nucleus of a mission that would be worldwide.
Jesus not only left His disciples with the Great Commission, but He also left us with the same mission. We are to go—whether in our homes, next door, to our surrounding community, another state, or another country—and make disciples.
Those of us who call Jesus “Lord” have received gifts that we can use to fulfill this mission. As we obey, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus is always with us.
We have been given a mission to do as Christ did when He lived on earth, go out into the community and “tell somebody about Jesus.” The message has been given to all. Everyone can participate!