Two Most Important Elements of Preaching

Pastors cannot lack these two things: passion and authority

When Jesus came along two thousand years ago not all of His teaching was brand new. His message of repentance had already been preached by prophets for centuries. His teachings about loving God and loving people, the Great Commandment as we call it, was not a new teaching. You can trace this sermon all the way back to Deuteronomy and the Ten Commandments. The Scribes and Pharisees had been teaching sermons on these subjects for years when Jesus came along. Yet when Jesus comes along, everyone begins to leave the teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees and flock to Jesus by the hundreds and thousands? So here’s my question: If Jesus’ sermons didn’t necessarily contain much new content, what made his teaching so attractive? So irresistible? We find the answer within the first few sentences of the first gospel ever written:

“They were astonished at His teaching because, unlike the scribes, He was teaching them as one having authority.” Mark 1:22 (HCSB)

In other words, even though Jesus was teaching some of the same content as the Scribes and Pharisees (ie, the Torah), there was something different about the way in which Jesus spoke it. When Jesus spoke, He spoke as one having AUTHORITY. When Jesus spoke, He spoke as if he really believed what He was saying. When He spoke, He spoke with conviction. He spoke with urgency. He spoke with compassion. He talked to people rather than just preaching at people. He told stories that made the Scriptures come alive. He made the Word come alive between sermons by living what He taught. He possessed moral authority in His teaching. People saw a difference in the way He lived that made His teachings more attractive. What was it that made Jesus’ teaching different? ...

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