By Not Known
John the Baptist was a preacher and Luke’s story of his ministry teaches us much
about the preacher’s person and work.
After his birth, John spent many years in the wilderness (Luke 1:80). Apart from
wearing unusual cloths and eating unusual food (Mat 3:4), we can safely expect
that these were years of his own maturity and preparation for his life’s work.
Preaching requires solitude, study and time.
John’s preaching used human words to preach God’s word (Luke 3:2,3,18)
Each element in this is important. John preached God’s word, not his own. When
a preacher speaks God’s word there is authority and power in the message. But,
it is the reverse when the message is just someone’s opinion on religious
John used audible words. Visual support, object lessons, written notes and the
like have their use, but they are no substitute for heard words. Spoken and heard
words have a unique capacity to persuade us inwardly and move the whole
person closer to God, as well as to inform us.
John’s goal was to transform and not just inform. The words used for preaching
(Luke 3:3,18) are words for making a king’s announcement, exhorting and
evangelising. These are words to change the life and not just the mind. Their
purpose was to bring people to repentance in order to receive God’s forgiveness
(3:3). John did not preach cheap grace, for his call to repentance was practical,
direct and unpopular (Luke 3:7-14,19-20). Ultimately, John’s call to change cost
him his life
Finally, John’s message centred on Jesus. In fulfilment of Isaiah, his role was to
announce and prepare for the Lord’s coming in order that people might be saved
and avoid judement (Luke 3:4-6). All good preaching centres on Jesus. John
turned attention away from himself and put it on Jesus, as the one sent from
God to save (Luke 3:15-17;Jn 3:30). The present cult of big-name celebity
preachers is the opposite of this.
Do pray for those who preach, for their work is of high importance in God’s
But, also pray for those who listen, includine yourself. Pray for active listening in
which we welcome preaching and test it against the Bible. Above all, pray for
responive listening in which God’s word takes root and bears fruit in your life