His preaching was a fulfilment of prophecy and the great expectation that the prophets have spoken about. He preached unto them powerfully, purposefully and authoritatively, and not like the Scribes or Pharisees. See the purpose of His preaching, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Matthew 4:16).
Christ’s preaching came to show light unto the people that sat in spiritual and total darkness. He came to enlighten them, and He spoke authoritatively to sweep away the darkness of superstition, tradition and errors. His Word brought life to those in the shadow of death and an end to their superstitions, traditions and error. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). What did He preach? All the blessings and goodness of the Kingdom that they could become beneficiaries now because He is the Door and has the key to that kingdom so that they could enter in and possess all the benefits. He came to teach and preach to open their eyes so that they could understand the Scriptures.
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17). Christ came to fulfil all the prophecies, promises and precepts of Scriptures and not to oppose or negate them. He came to fulfil and show the significance of the Scriptures in your life. There is nothing you read about in the Scriptures that is redundant or useless, for every jot and tittle will be fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). He taught how to enter and become great and significant when you enter into the Kingdom of God.
Tradition, superstitions, the former and old life will hinder people from entering into the kingdom (Matthew 5:20). He was very plain and forthright about the Scriptures. For people to enter in, there must be righteousness by faith, the inner, evangelical and the kind that comes from the Lord Himself, and then it is practical, purposeful and positive with inward grace. For if yours is just like the Pharisees, only outward, lacking the inner grace of Christ, you will not make it into the kingdom of God.
The Scriptures He preached to them and the emphasis are unchangeable and still stand today. He taught that don’t do anything that you may be seen or appreciated of men for that kind of life will not get you into the kingdom (Matthew 6:1). He also taught that we should think, plan and store all our treasures in heaven, not just amass wealth here on earth, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” (Matthew 6:19). Jesus was always talking about Heaven and preachers should do the same and prepare people for Heaven.
He also taught that we must not only hear but apply, practice and perform the Word; repent, consecrate and put right whatever needs to be. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24). Jesus Christ in His preaching and teaching will always give you the two sides of the coin; that if you do it, this is the consequence, and if you don’t do it, this is the recompense. There are people who only show the one side of the coin, encouraging, motivating and uplifting, but we must do it as Jesus Christ did it (Matthew 7:26-27). “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:35). This was why they were surprised and astonished in His preaching, because what they never heard from their preachers, priests, scribes and Pharisees, Jesus taught them.
He was not talking tradition or religion but righteousness from on high. When queried by the elders who sent them to arrest Jesus, and they returned without Him, hear their response: “The officers answered, Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). They were used to hearing the commandment and traditions of men which contradicted the Scriptures, but Christ’s message was different from the Pharisees’. He taught to convict, alert and awaken them to the way of the Kingdom (John 6:59-60,66). Jesus will not repeat the principles, proverbs and all the precepts of men because He is the Word Personified (Mark 7:7-8,13). “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:” (Luke 13:24-25) The people counted the message strange, so they went back, but you will not go back. They did not take in what He taught, they did not repent. Jesus never cut corners with the truth, He did not teach the way of society, religion and of tradition but the way of God; He was true and taught in truth. He was no respecter of persons, not looking for their favour, nor position in society. And this is what we ought to do if we are to preach like Christ today, to preach, emphasize and expound on the truth, and to help the people understand the way into the kingdom of God.
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