The Draw of Good Preaching
Luke 21:37 ¶ Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called.
Luke 21:38 And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.
This was Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem and in these couple of sentences we see his personal routine. He spent his days preaching and teaching in the temple. At night he would go back over to the Mount of Olives and rest and pray. Then, early the next morning he would make his way to the temple again, ready to teach the people. His morning lectures were a draw to those in the city who would get up early and come “to listen to him in the temple.”
Evidently it was unusual for the people to get up early to hear someone preach in the temple. Jesus wasn’t just a charismatic speaker, he was bringing them good, solid food which would be transformational in their lives. His preaching here in the temple is also referred to as lecturing. He was the teacher and the people were the students. They were coming to learn from the Master and his teaching was so compelling that they were willing to get up early in the morning and spend time just sitting at his feet so that they could soak in what he had to say.
How deep is our preaching/teaching these days? I’m afraid that too often peoples’ ears are being tickled by what they hear. We want the best show in town on Sunday mornings and we want to enjoy “our” worship experience. At the same time I believe there is a sincere and deep hunger for the “meatier” things of God. Over and over again I run into lay persons who are tired of the “fluff” of Christianity and would like to be taken deeper into the word of God.
To be a really good preacher means that you have to spend time in study. You cannot re-preach other peoples’ sermons that are pulled down off the internet! To really preach means that it has to come from a place in your own spiritual life where God is leading and directing and so there is great responsibility on the part of the preacher to spend the necessary time in preparation to be able to teach his/her people.
There is a draw to good preaching but there are also consequences. Preaching and teaching the truth will not always make people happy. While they got up early to hear Jesus preach this whole week — they eventually crucified him. If we are preachers, we must teach and preach the Truth. If we are lay persons learning, then may we learn and listen with the expectation that not everything we hear will be pleasing to our ears, but may God help us to go deeper with him as a result of what he is speaking to us.
Lord, please help our ministers to lead us deeper into your Truths through the honest preaching of your word! Amen.