A reading of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) reveals personal interactions that Jesus had with individuals. Although He often spoke to the multitudes, He also had specific time for Nicodemus (John 3), Zacchaeus (Luke 19), the Samaritan woman (John 4), the Roman centurion (Matthew 8), Mary and Martha (John 11) and many others. As you read these recorded interactions in the Scriptures, you find out pretty quickly that these people all had needs. Nicodemus had a need to discover the truth. Zacchaeus had a cheating problem. The Samaritan woman had relational issues. The Roman centurion had a close friend facing a medical challenge. Mary and Martha had to deal with grief.
When Jesus encountered these individuals, He helped them with their needs. Hungry people were fed, sick people were healed, troubled people found relief, and seeking people found answers. As wonderful as it was for these people to have their physical needs met, the true life-change occurred when Jesus met their spiritual need. When Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah to the Samaritan woman, she was truly transformed. Once Nicodemus realized he needed to be born again rather than just have his intellectual questions answered, he experienced a radical change. As Jesus gave forgiveness to Zacchaeus, he gave back to those he had cheated and restored some broken relationships. The faith of the Roman centurion was built and commended through the healing of his servant. Mary and Martha learned of an everlasting life in Christ through the death and resurrection of their brother.
In many of these cases, the people didn’t even know they had a spiritual need. Jesus met their physical needs to help bring them to an awareness of their spiritual need. Jesus is the ultimate Life-Changer because He didn’t just give people a temporary solution to their physical problem, but he provided an everlasting solution to their spiritual need.
As an Encounter Life-Changer, you get the opportunity to reach around the world to help feed the hungry, provide medical assistance to the sick, and offer relief to the oppressed. But more importantly, you are reaching into lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ. For more information about how to become an Encounter Life-Changer, click here.
This article was originally published in The Encounter Story, a quarterly publication created to show how your involvement with the ministry is helping us to do great things for God and His people in the U.S. and the world! Read The Encounter Story