Timothy George (Th.D., Harvard University) just published an article in the First Things journal titled “Jesus Came Preaching“. George starts the article by examining the uniqueness of a preaching Savior:
“At the heart of the Christian faith is a Savior who was a preacher. “And Jesus came preaching” (Mark 1:14). This stands in contrast to the gods of Olympus or the deities of the Roman pantheon whose interaction with mortals, when it happened at all, was transient, ephemeral, detached, like a circle touching a tangent. Zeus thundered, but he did not preach. Nor did the dying and rising savior gods of the mystery religions. There were ablutions and incantations and the babbling utterances of the Sibylline Oracles but nothing that could rightly be called a sermon.”
At the end of the article, George expounds on the power of preaching in the ancient world, and issues a challenge for pastors today. His words provide a powerful reminder to all Bible teachers – especially pastors.
The preachers of the early church were not merely expressing their personal opinions or providing entertainment to their listeners. No, they were in the vanguard of the militia Christi, the army of Jesus that sheds no blood. Their preaching propelled redemptive history forward toward the consummation of all things. This is certainly how Matthew 24:14 has been understood, from the age of the apostles right through the dawn of the modern ecumenical movement: “And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
The promise still stands and the task yet remains, for God ever renews his church through new forms of preaching—the martyrs, the monks, the mendicants, the missionaries, the reformers, the awakeners, the pastors and the teachers. Where such proclamation is faithful to the living and written Word of God and enlivened by the Spirit, it is an effective means of grace and a sure sign of the true church.
To read the whole article, click here.