When telling the story of Jesus we mustn’t overlook the great preaching and teaching lessons He had for those who would listen. A quick overview shows that the topics of Jesus’ teachings and sermons are at least twenty-two. If you are like most people, you are probably asking yourself, “Were there topics Jesus considered more important than others?” Were there any areas that Jesus spent more time and energy on when speaking to His followers? I wish I could expand more on these four that I believe were very important to Jesus as He preached.
Hypocrisy was a source of great concern for Jesus and He reserved His most scathing remarks for those whose teachings were not reflected in their actions (cf. Matt 23:1-3). Christians are not perfect mind you, but their actions (what they practice) do not deny the faith they profess. This was an important topic for Jesus and it should be for preachers today, as well.
Many of Jesus’ parables were comparisons of daily life occurrences and the Kingdom, whether it was of Heaven, God or simply the Kingdom. There are those who await the kingdom, some who say it has come and gone, and still those of us who believe that the Kingdom Jesus spoke of is, in fact, the church that He died for and saw come into existence in Acts, chapter two. The amount of information presented by Jesus on the kingdom all those years ago is still relevant to us today and to disregard it would be to our disadvantage.
Eternity is a reality and saying it isn’t, to soothe fears, doesn’t make it any less real. Jesus spoke at great length about eternal punishment or eternal life (Matt 25:46). The punishment spoken of is referred to as being in outer darkness and gnashing their teeth. There is one eternity with two possibilities. Which do you choose?
The basis of all Jesus’ teaching was the love of God. His goal was to teach reconciliation with the One who created us and Who would do whatever it takes to save us. Should we preach and teach anything less, today?
Copyright © 2005, Nolan P. Rutter