OBSERVATION: From watching, listening, and reading sermons and lessons, past and present, presented in churches across the nation, there is evidence that both forms of communication, preaching and teaching, have fallen on hard times, reaching levels that are trying to match the entertainment level of Hollywood, televangelists, and comedians. What is being passed off as biblical messages in the pulpit and classroom is more like an attempt to entertain than “prick listeners in their hearts” (Acts 2:37). A few Scriptures are tacked on with an overdose of human wisdom, comments, and feel-good emphasis. The response most frequently heard is “I enjoyed your sermon/message”, not “What shall I do?”
Somewhere in our history congregations have created two distinct forms of communicating Scripture. First, the pulpit where the preacher does all the talking—a monologue. Second, the classroom where questions and answers occur on a limited basis. What both forms have created is a comfortable auditing system of “communication.”
There are several media programs and phone applications where you can listen to Scriptures being read with soft background music and “fall asleep.” We have become duplicators of God’s people in the day of Isaiah: “Who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us right things; speak unto us SMOOTH things’” (Isaiah 30:10). Solomon was right there “is nothing new under the sun”; just new ways of doing the same old things.
- A.In light of these observations, which are mild compared to the real in-depth problems we are facing, we need to revisit our Lord’s approach to preaching and teaching. He “left us an example that we should follow in His footsteps.”
- 1.While there are different words in the Greek language that reference “teaching” and “preaching” (E.g. “to teach—“didasko”, preach—“kerugma,” “to cry, to proclaim.”) In our English translations, we don’t notice the emphasis given by these words. We know God’s message is being both preached and taught.
- 2.Because in my opinion there has been a lack of emphasis on Jesus as The
Preacher, I will shine the spotlight on knowing Jesus as The Preacher based on what is revealed in Scripture, not the books of men.
SCRIPTURES ABOUT JESUS PREACHING
- A.Here are some Scriptures which present Jesus preaching:
- 1.Mark 1:38: “But He said unto them, ‘Let us go into the next TOWNS, that I may PREACH there also because for this PURPOSE I have come forth.’
- 2.Matthew 4:17: “From that time Jesus began to PREACH and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
- 3.Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because he has anointed Me to PREACH the gospel to the poor…”
- 4.Luke 4:43: “But He said to them, ‘I MUST PREACH the kingdom of God, to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been SENT.’”
- 5.Luke 4:45: And He was PREACHING in the synagogues of Galilee.”
- 6.Therefore, Jesus had beautiful feet:
- 7.The Father said, Hear His Son:
JESUS’ PREACHING AND COMMUNICATION STYLE
- B.Studying Jesus’ preaching style from a study of homiletics, speaking, rhetoric, and communication style, I make these observations:
- 1.Jesus spoke in a simple and easy to be understood vocabulary. Some
Education scholars say taught of 3rd to 5th-grade level. “The common people heard him gladly” (Mk. 12:37)
- 2.Most of Jesus’ lessons were brief and to the point: “Sermon on Mount.” Matt. 5-7, 111-verses, Approximately 2,247 words, the average person reads 250 words per minute, take 12-15 minutes to read.
- 3.Jesus’ sermons were full of illustrations—Parables and metaphors: 36 parables, 100 metaphors. 75% of the Bible relates to events, stories, and people, etc. We remember 10-20% of what we hear and 30-40% of what we hear and see (Mental pictures), 70-90% of what we do (Cf. Jas. 1:20-27).
- 4.Jesus used Scripture (OT) in His messages. He said many times, “It is written” (Cf. Matt. 4:4, 7, 10). Quoted OT 78 times, Psalms most quoted, 17 times. Challenging others, “Search the Scriptures…” (Jno. 5:39-47. There are 300 OT quotes in NT.
- 5.Jesus’ sermons were confrontive (Scribes and Pharisees, Matt. 23).
- 6.Jesus’ sermons touched emotions: Luke 24:32, “And they said, one to another,’ Didn’t our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while he opened the Scripture to us’”.
- 7.Jesus’ preaching was never based on or exemplified “Respect of persons” (Ill. Woman at well, apostles, tax collector, eats with sinners, Lk. 15:1, 2, etc.).
- 8.Jesus’ preaching was specific, with no guessing (Lk. 13:3, 4) “Repent or perish…” “Confess me or be denied…” (Matt. 10:32).
- 9.Jesus’ preaching changed people: Matt. 19:27, “Lord, we have left all to follow you.” Doing so now after two thousand years.
- 10.Jesus’ preaching warned of hell and the judgment (Lk. 16:19-31).
- 11.Jesus’ preaching was saturated with prayer: “Got up early in the morning to pray” (Mk. 1:35).
- 12.Jesus’ preaching reflected His character. His messages were accompanied by tears (Jno. 11:35), kindness, love, and healing. Children were dear to Him (Matt. 18:2).
- 13.Jesus’ preaching was courageous: In the Temple, money changers, even confronted Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-12).
- 14.Jesus’ preaching continued to His last breath, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Lk. 23:34). “It is Finished!”
- 15.Jesus commanded His followers to preach (Mk. 16:15, 16; Matthew 28:8-20). We are at a crisis point today relative to needing preachers.
JESUS THE PREACHER TRAINED OTHER PREACHERS
- A.While fulfilling His preaching mission Jesus selected and trained followers to carry on God’s eternal mission of preaching the Gospel to every person on the earth (Matthew 28:18-20). To do this He didn’t go to a rabbinical or synagogue school of theology or preaching. He didn’t select men who had passed an “ordination quiz” or matched a job description He and the religious leaders of the day had created. These have, sadly, been developed by men.
- B.Jesus chose and trained 12 men for three-plus years: Mark 1:16-20; Luke 6:12-16.
- 1.All of these men were busy, older, and open to a new adventure (Mk.1:16-20).
- 2.They didn’t hesitate or ask about the perks or benefits. “Straightway.”
- 3.They had a basic grounding in the Law of Moses.
- 4.They were constantly asking questions (Jno. 6:68).
- 5.They accompanied Jesus, not sitting in a classroom (Mk. 1:38, “Let us go…).
- 6.Jesus continually reminded them of the cost involved (Matt. 16:24).
- 7.Jesus had to rebuke them…. (Matt. 18:1-9; 20:21, 22).
- 8.Jesus commanded His students to continue the selection and training process (Matt. 28:18-20).
- 9.Jesus didn’t “graduate His students” before dying, He and the Holy Spirit continued teaching them after His resurrection and ascension (Lk. 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-11).
- 10.The church today, as a whole, has departed from the preaching and training style of Jesus in the 1st-Century.
Hopefully, these brief points have called our attention to “Knowing Jesus as the Preacher.” The church and world have a desperate need for preachers who will preach and teach like Jesus. The church has an extreme need for training men to preach and teach like Jesus.