Matthew 3.4-6 cont.
4 Now John had a garment of camels hair and a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the surrounding region of Jordan went out to Him,
6 And confessing their sins they were baptized by him in the river Jordan.
Every now and again a preacher is raised up by God who becomes popular, even though their message may not be to everyone’s liking. To such preachers the Holy Spirit draws people so that they can hear the good news that Jesus is both Lord and Saviour.
In the 19th Century Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the ‘Prince of Preachers’, and large crowds would flock to hear Him proclaim the word of God.
In my life time perhaps the most popular preacher is and has been the American evangelist Billy Graham. He has preached to millions of people, always faithfully proclaiming that God loves the whole world and that is why He sent Jesus into the world to save us sinners.
He has not always been popular, but he has never deviated from the truth of Jesus being the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
John the Baptist was a man, whom God raised in the spirit of Elijah, and to whom God drew the crowds from Jerusalem, Judea, and the surrounding region of the Jordan. He did this so that they may all hear that the Kingdom of Heaven was near to them.
For all of us who are preachers it is vital that we know that the message that we have to proclaim has been given to us by the Holy Spirit. What we have to say will not always be popular; it may be rejected; and it sometimes may offend people. This has always been true of the word of God being delivered to this world.
It was true for Jesus. There was an occasion when all left Him, and He asked the twelve disciples:
66 From this time many of His disciples went back and didn’t walk with Him anymore.
67 Then Jesus said to the twelve: “Do you also want to go?”
68 Simon Peter replied: “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;
69 and we firmly believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” – John 6.67-69.
The proclamation of the gospel of Jesus is not about popularity, but about the message we bring being used by the Holy Spirit to convince people of their need of being saved by Jesus.