Jesus gives a starting point for sharing hope.
The time from Jesus’ resurrection to his ascension was eventful for his disciples. He appeared to them numerous times, and they never knew when or where he would show up. They needed to be ready to learn from Jesus at any time.
John 21 records Jesus appearing to some of his disciples as they were fishing. It was the early morning hours, and the men had been fishing all night. They caught nothing though until Jesus guided them. While the disciples were about 100 yards from shore, Jesus appeared on the shore. He suggested throwing the net on the right side of the boat. They did, and it was filled with fish.
They came ashore, and Jesus was waiting with a hot breakfast. Jesus needed to have a conversation with the disciples concerning the future, but first, he wanted to make sure their needs were met. If they were struggling and hungry, they would not be focused on what Jesus had to say.
The Bible encourages Christians to share our hope, and I believe we find a starting point in this post-resurrection appearance.
We need to help a person meet his or her physical needs before we can have an open door to discuss spiritual matters.
If a person is struggling and hungry today, he or she is not concerned about tomorrow. A starting point for sharing hope is helping meet physical needs.
- It may be helping the person look for work.
- It may be helping the individual identify ways to advance his or her skills to improve financial stability.
- It may be helping a person navigate resources to find help.
- Mostly, it is investing in the person’s life to earn the right to share our hope.
People are more content to discuss tomorrow when today’s needs are met.