We wrote in Go Versus Invite about the need to go to people rather than always asking them to come (Matthew 10:6-8). Jesus was sending out his disciples to spread the word about his ministry and to let people know the Kingdom of God was present. After telling the disciples to go, then he told them to preach.
Are we all supposed to preach? What is a preacher? Isn’t a preacher someone who stands up on Sunday and talks? Aren’t they supposed to challenge people to live according to something, primarily the word of God?
But the word translated as “preach” can also mean “proclaim.” In this passage, I’m struck by how Jesus instructs everyone he’s sending to go, preach and heal. This command is the same today, but the methods we use changed. Our method of going has changed for sure. Could it be that our method of preaching has changed too?
Sure. Some preachers stand before a congregation and preach. As followers of Jesus, we need teaching. Our job is to learn and to submit to our leaders in the faith so we can grow. But the command for each of us to preach doesn’t mean we start preaching or hosting a bible study in the lunch room at work.
Preach can also mean proclaim. Our lifestyle proclaims our true faith. If we don’t believe it, then we won’t live it. We complete this idea when we can explain the reasons for our different lifestyle. In 1 Peter 3:15, we are challenged to give a reason for our faith with gentleness and respect (ESV).
Our workplaces won’t tolerate much shouting from a podium. Our postmodern world won’t sit still for more of what they think they’ve already decided to ignore. The way we preach today is that we live a transparent life that defies explanation (Philippians 4:7) apart from Jesus. When we’re asked about it we explain our faith with gentleness and respect.
Are you ready to preach today? Your life, given to Jesus, will speak volumes, both good and bad. Do you live according to what you know about Jesus? Then go, preach. If not, well, that’s for another post too. But for now, ask God to show you where you need to change and let him change your life. We’ll talk about healing in a future post, too. Check out Go Versus Invite, too.
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