There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for a witness, that he mightbear witness of the light. He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.(Jn 1:6-8)John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying,
This was He of whom I said, He who comes
after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.”
(Jn 1:15)And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem toask him,
Who are you.
And he confessed and did not deny, and he confessed,
I am not theChrist.
And they asked him,
What then? Are you Elijah?
And he said,
I am not.
Are you theProphet?
And he answered,
They said then to him,
Who are you then, that we may givean answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?
I am a voice of onecrying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord,
as Isaiah the prophet said. Nowthey had been sent by the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him,
Why then are youbaptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?
John answered them saying,
Ibaptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes afterme, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.
(Jn 1:19-27)We see that at no time did Jesus refute
call to the people for repentance. In fact, in bothMatthew and Mark we see that after Jesus was tempted in the wilderness His first words recorded in Hispublic ministry were words of repentance. Mark 1:14-15
Now after John had been taken intocustody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying,
The time is fulfilled, and thekingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.
Jesus message of repentance was thefoundational message of His ministry. It was a seamless move from the announcer to the announced,from the herald to the heralded. The change of command had come and
orders remained thesame.
I’d like to make several observations regarding the above scriptures, as well as references to Jesus’
ministry and the ministry of the apostles, and the contrast I see today in many ministers, ministries, andchurches. I had one home church leader tell me that worship now replaced preaching as the way Godspoke to people and how glad he was not to have to carry that burden any longer
. I’ve known of othergroups where anything above a conversational tone was considered “too preachy” for their church
culture. So, is preaching necessary? The prophets thought so. Jesus thought so. The apostles thought so.The book of Acts is a chronicle of the preaching of the Gospel and the demonstration of the kingdom.
First of all, John came as a preacher; in the Greek, to proclaim as a herald (Strong’s G2784). I’m not
saying a sermon (oops, another bad word) has to be yelled, but the true anointing to preach carries
enough unction with it to get a person’s attention rather than put them to sleep.
The Bible shows
countless examples of servants of God proclaiming God’s word either prophet
ically or in the ministry of preaching. It is primary for salvation.For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are beingsaved it is the power of God. For it is written,