Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Discourses of Jesus

On many occasions our Lord’s words were misquoted and misrepresented, but never misunderstood. The people of His day may not have understood their meaning, but they understood what He said. That is, the definition of the words. Christ always considered His audience. As the Quakers used to say, “Speak to the condition of the hearers.” At various times included in the company that would hear Jesus’ words were children, intellects, slaves, feeble-minded, common people, and theologians.

Our Saviour was always conscious of the crowd to whom He spoke. His discourses go from the simple to the sublime. He takes His hearers from the shallow shore to the depths in the middle of the ocean; but always bringing them back to shore again, lest those who were not advanced swimmers drown in the deep. The spiritually- minded and superior intellects need to remember the words of Oswald Chambers, “The ocean has a shore” He goes on to say, “Beware posing as a profound person; God became a baby.”

In all our preaching, teaching, conversations, and yes, praying and singing also, let us heed Paul’s admonition, “So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.” As Billy Sunday would say, “Put the cookies on the bottom shelf.” Whenever speaking to a crowd with a mixture of intellects, leave the $50 words for those times when your small group meets together. There is a time and a place for such things.

Some of us, I’m afraid, love to hear ourselves talk. In fact, if the truth be told, we’d drive a hundred miles to hear ourselves, never realizing, others wouldn’t cross the street to listen to us!

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