THE PREACHING THE GOOD NEWS
THAT SAVES LIVES
"And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come"
(Matthew 24: 14)
The Preaching is a Proclamation
The Greek word translated as "to preach" is "κηρύσσω" ((kēryssō) (Strong's Concordance (G2784)), "to herald as public screaming". Preaching is a public proclamation. Even though preaching is a simple teaching, it is not to be confused with the pedagogical basic teaching of the Bible, mentioned in Matthew 28:20: "teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20) ("teaching": (διδάσκω (disdasko) (Strong's Concordance "To teach" (G1321)). We can take two examples that show the simplicity of a message preached, often by a simple sentence, and a detailed teaching in the form of a public speech:
Preaching: "From that time on, Jesus began preaching (kēryssō) and saying: “Repent, for the Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near"" (Matthew 4:17). In Luke 10:9, as Jesus Christ sends 70 of his disciples to preach ahead of him. He gives them exactly the same simple theme of proclamation: "The Kingdom of God has come near to you".
The more detailed biblical teaching in the form of a speech: "When he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he opened his mouth and began teaching them (disdasko), saying" (Matthew 5:1,2). Thus, the Sermon on the Mount is not a mere public proclamation, but a detailed biblical teaching in the form of a public speech of about half an hour (in that case).
Jesus Christ sends his disciples to preach
Preaching is much easier to do than teaching the Bible. This is the advice that Jesus Christ gave to a group of disciples that he was sending to preach ahead of him: “These 12 Jesus sent out, giving them these instructions: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter any Sa·marʹi·tan city; but instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, preach, saying: ‘The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’ (…). You received free, give free. Do not acquire gold or silver or copper for your money belts, or a food pouch for the trip, or two garments, or sandals, or a staff, for the worker deserves his food. “Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving, and stay there until you leave. When you enter the house, greet the household. If the house is deserving, let the peace you wish it come upon it; but if it is not deserving, let the peace from you return upon you. Wherever anyone does not receive you or listen to your words, on going out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet” (Matthew 10:5-14).
In the simple "instructions" that Jesus Christ gave to his disciples, there are five main instructions:
- Jesus Christ sets the territory or the area to be covered for preaching (Verses 5 and 6).
- Jesus Christ sets the theme of the proclamation, which will eventually spark conversations (verse 7): "The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near".
- Jesus Christ especially asks that this preaching is not to be used for a financial or commercial purpose: "You received free, give free" (Verse 8).
- Jesus Christ then gives more material and behavioral instructions, linked with the hospitality of the people who will welcome them (Verses 9-13).
- Jesus Christ explains that in case of refusal, it is advisable not to insist but rather "shake the dust off your feet", leaving the house or the city, putting the judgment in the hands of God: "Really I tell you, it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment than for this city" (Matthew 4:15).
Jesus Christ preaches to a Samaritan Woman
To have a more precise idea of what can be said in the context of preaching, let us see how Jesus Christ informally preached to a Samaritan woman:
"A woman of Sa·marʹi·a came to draw water. Jesus said to her: “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone off into the city to buy food.) 9 So the Sa·marʹi·tan woman said to him: “How is it that you, despite being a Jew, ask me for a drink even though I am a Sa·marʹi·tan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Sa·marʹi·tans.) 10 In answer Jesus said to her: “If you had known of the free gift of God and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 She said to him: “Sir, you do not even have a bucket for drawing water, and the well is deep. From what source, then, do you have this living water? 12 You are not greater than our forefather Jacob, who gave us the well and who together with his sons and his cattle drank out of it, are you?” 13 In answer Jesus said to her: “Everyone drinking from this water will get thirsty again. 14 Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all, but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life.” 15 The woman said to him: “Sir, give me this water, so that I may neither thirst nor keep coming over to this place to draw water.” 16 He said to her: “Go, call your husband and come to this place.” 17 The woman replied: “I do not have a husband.” Jesus said to her: “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’ 18 For you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. This you have said truthfully.” 19 The woman said to him: “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our forefathers worshipped on this mountain, but you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where people must worship.” 21 Jesus said to her: “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation begins with the Jews. 23 Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him: “I know that Mes·siʹah is coming, who is called Christ. Whenever that one comes, he will declare all things to us openly.” 26 Jesus said to her: “I am he, the one speaking to you" (John 4:7-26. For the study of this text, the numbers marking the verses were voluntarily left).
- Jesus Christ aroused an unusual double situation (verses 7-9): He was Jewish and spoke in public to a Samaritan woman. Jews and Samaritans hated each other so much that at the time, to insult one of their compatriot, they sometimes called him a "Samaritan" (see John 8:48, it is interesting to note that the illustration of "Good Samaritan", clearly fits in Christ's purpose, to subtly denounce this anti-Samaritan Jewish religious racism (Luke 10:25-37)). Moreover, Jesus Christ spoke in public to a woman, which was not the uses. In John 4:27, it is written that even his disciples were astonished at this situation. Be that as it may, in verse 16, Jesus Christ asked the woman to bring her husband for to continue the conversation. While Jesus Christ always had a chaste attitude towards women, he respected the customs regarding the relationship between men and women, and of course, of biblical morals.
Therefore, it is important not to have prejudices on the people to whom we are preaching the Good News. Jehovah God and Jesus Christ love all peoples and humans of all races, both men and women (Acts 10:34 "God is not partial").
- Jesus Christ continued after the first surprise effect, adding something strange (verses 10-15): He can give her water, while he has no bucket (verse 10) . Of course, it was a spiritual way. Without necessarily thinking that the Samaritan woman lacked shrewdness, because she did not know that he was Jesus Christ who spoke to her, she pointed out to him that he had no bucket. Nevertheless, without pointing her the lack of discernment, Jesus Christ added a third surprising idea, completely aberrant from a human point of view: he can give her water which she will not be thirsty anymore. One can easily imagine the Samaritan woman looking at Jesus Christ, wide-eyed replying: "Sir, give me this water, so that I may neither thirst nor keep coming over to this place to draw water". Clearly, the woman had not yet understood that Jesus Christ was speaking symbolically. He did not point out to her his lack of insight, because the goal he had set for himself was reached: to draw her attention.
First, to draw attention, use simple, (maybe, if possible) hard-hitting phrases that are out of the ordinary. It is necessary to arouse this innate curiosity to human beings, so that they can react and thus provoke spiritually interesting conversations. The second point is that Jesus Christ did not take back the Samaritan woman when she did not understand anything, he pursued his goal, he aroused her attention by creating a common ground between him and her.
- Jesus Christ refused to argue (Verse 20-22): The Samaritan woman opens a controversy over the different places of worship of Jews and Samaritans (verse 20). Jesus Christ did not enter into controversy by telling her that henceforth true worship would no longer depend on a particular holy place (verse 21). Having dismissed this pointless controversy, Jesus Christ nonetheless exposed the truth (Verse 22): "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation begins with the Jews". Salvation comes from the Jews because from this people (and not from the Samaritan people) would come the main means of everlasting salvation: Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
It is important to balance the fact of avoiding unnecessarily entering into pointless controversy, but also of the absolute necessity of exposing the biblical truth, as did Jesus Christ in this case.
- Jesus Christ spoke of "true worshipers" (Verses 23 and 24): The expression "true worshipers" has the advantage of its great simplicity: either we are, or we are not. Just as Jesus Christ said, there are only two alternatives, one that leads to life and the other to destruction (Matthew 7:13,14,21-23). Likewise, there are only two categories of worshipers: the true and the false. The true worshipers have been appointed by divine providence: Christians: "After he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year they assembled with them in the congregation and taught quite a crowd, and it was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians" (Acts 11:26). It is shortly before the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ will make the difference between "true Christians" and "false Christians" (Matthew 7:21-23). Which means that if one were to replace the word "worshippers" or "to worship" with the non-biblical words "religion" or "religious", the situation will become (and it is) more complex: Indeed, how to recognize the "true religion" "among the millions of other religions that all call themselves "true"? It is better to remain on the simplicity of the term "true worshipers", used by Christ, or "Christian" used in the biblical book Acts (by divine providence). Clearly, Jesus Christ preached a message, the good news, rather than a "religion" (non-biblical generic word).
On the other hand, Jesus Christ has shown that his "Father is looking for ones like these to worship him", by means of human preaching, He is the One who is building up His Own People: "At that time those who fear Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance was written before him for those fearing Jehovah and for those meditating on his name" (Matthew 24:14, Malachi 3:16). Let us preach to the future great crowd that will survive to the great tribulation, the Day of Jehovah (Joel 2:1,2).
How to do ?
This is a concluding question: Let us imitate Jesus Christ, like his disciples, but also the Samaritan woman: "Many of the Sa·marʹi·tans from that city put faith in him because of the word of the woman who bore witness, saying: “He told me all the things I did.” So when the Sa·marʹi·tans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. As a result, many more believed because of what he said, and they said to the woman: “We no longer believe just because of what you said; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the savior of the world" (John 4:39-42).
The Samaritan woman preached, and her simple preaching has been so powerful that thanks to God's blessing, a whole village came out to meet Jesus Christ and began to have faith in him. Do like the Samaritan woman, preach to your family members, your friends and especially those who do not have internet. Preach the Good News with the most possible means of communication, that the "Day of Jehovah is near" (Joel 2: 1,2). Feel free to use the Bible to support your statements, either by quoting biblical texts from memory or in essence, or by reading directly. In addition to preaching to those who do not have Internet, do not hesitate to use the social networks, creations of Biblical sites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook... To preach the Good News to all the nations before the end comes ( Matthew 24:14). By doing the best that you can, Jehovah God will not fail to bless your preaching activity, and will grant you everlasting life in the future earthly paradise: "For God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name by ministering and continuing to minister to the holy ones" (Hebrews 6:10). May God bless your preaching activity through Christ.
24.10 | 07:22
Hi Jane, thank you very much for your encouragement. Thanks to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ who revealed to us the meaning of the Word (1 Corinthians 10:31). Blessings of God to you, Sister in Christ.
23.10 | 22:27
This is the most insightful explanation of scripture o have ever found! God bless you my brothers …. My eyes are devoid of fog!
26.05 | 10:51
12.03 | 10:37
Hi Fatima, as Jesus said to keep on the watch in view of prayers until the end to have the fulfillment of our Christian Hope, to be saved (Mat 24:13,42). Blessings and My Brotherly Greetings in Christ