It’s time for plain talk.
John 16:25 – These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
In earlier verses leading to our Text for Today, Jesus spoke a series of brief, one verse proverbs. A proverb, in the Biblical sense, is a simple and concrete saying based on truth revealed in God’s Word, and is generally stated to show forth an example of that truth in a clearly understandable fashion. That is precisely what Jesus was doing in this passage in the 16th chapter of John. He was speaking in a manner that would reveal to His disciples the events that were about to transpire. In each saying He used, He was taking the disciples on a journey from their current circumstance with Him being present, through His arrest, beating, scourging, mocking, and ridicule, to His crucifixion and burial, all the way to His resurrection, visible appearances, ascension, and sending of Holy Spirit for the “grand opening” of His church. Imagine saying in about 30 words what has just taken more than 50 to describe what has been said. And Jesus did it repeatedly; absolutely amazing. Once again, He was speaking truths in a very abbreviated form that carried with them far broader meaning that needed to be taught to His people.
Now consider the command of Jesus to “teach.” An examination of His earthly ministry shows Him going before the people again and again, and while He certainly “preached,” (or proclaimed), it seems that most of His dissertations were set forth in His “teaching.” I am convinced that Jesus was making a powerful statement about the delivery of the Gospel to His covenant people. This brings us to what many would say is a matter of semantics, and they would be correct. IT IS A MATTER OF SEMANTICS. We have ALL been called to “preach the Gospel to every creature.” But remember the words of Jesus concerning the work of “making disciples.” In that work, Jesus specifically used the command of “teaching them to observe.”
Could it be that today’s church is battling through the results of being “preached to” for decades while being greatly deprived of clear and accurate “teaching” of the Word of God. In my own observations, I have seen that Christians who have been consistently TAUGHT the Word of God generally live a more victorious life, and seem to be more consistent in their faith and service to the Lord and His church. Could it be said that while PREACHING may serve to inspire more people to become believers in the Lord’s army, TEACHING, on the other hand, makes strong soldiers of the cross of those new recruits? Imagine the army of the Lord today, standing tall, filled with the Spirit, and as the light of the world, illuminating the battlefield of life with the light that comes from the “entrance of the Word.” It is surely time for truth to be taught; for some PLAIN TALK.
Manna for Today – John 16:25-33; Matthew 28:18-20; Psalm 119:130