John 12:49 “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
The Bible is very clear that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, a member of the trinity, God himself, and the Word of God. He declares that “all authority” has been given to him. Yet notice in the passage above how extremely careful Jesus is in what he says. He is fully submissive to the Father in all things, but especially when it comes to what he teaches.
What really strikes me here is that if Jesus is so extremely careful to only say what God has given him to say, how careful should we be? Why is it that so many pastors feel free to spend their pulpit time spewing stuff that is not from God at all? They will “preach” for half an hour or more, and most of what they are talking about is not from God at all. Why is it that so many pastors buy sermons from “successful” pastors and study how to say what some other bloke has said from his pulpit regardless of whether it is God’s Word or not. Why is it that so many of God’s sheep are fed with pop-psychology or phony motivational speeches?
We are not following the example of Jesus. Our preaching and teaching should be solely from the Word of God. The command is simple “Preach the Word.” Jesus said the Father gave him a commandment; what to say and what to speak. It is not a suggestion, it is not a guideline; it is a command. Jesus speaks with the authority of God, and does not fish around for a message that will please the people or draw a big crowd. Why is he so insistent that he sticks with exactly what God has said? Because the Word of God is eternal life. If we preach anything less, we are not helping people at all. Do we really want to help people be successful on this earth while we have lulled them into missing the true hope of eternal life?
Are the pulpits of America proclaiming “Thus says the Lord.” or are you more likely to actually hear “Thus says Andy Stanley?”