Sunday, November 8, 2015
“Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:20 KJV).
Did Jesus discourage us from witnessing to lost people?
Years ago, a pastor friend was out preaching the Gospel on his city’s street corners. A man approached him and foolishly said, “Preacher, the Bible says you should not be doing that! Jesus told His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Christ!”
It is a real shame that so many have so misconstrued God’s precious Word. Whenever convenient to quote and prove a denominational point, Scripture is used. Whenever Bible rejecters do not want to hear Christians quote Scripture to challenge them, they hastily quote it and use it against Christians (“Jesus said not to judge!”). When the Bible does not prove a denomination, it is ignored. When the scoffers run out of “Bible contradictions” to throw at the Christians, the scoffers just throw out the Bible altogether. Thank God for His grace, that He tolerates such disrespect. He is not mocked, friends. There is coming a day in which such fools will give account to the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteous Judge, for treating His words so carelessly and irreverently. What a dreadful day that will be!
When we rip today’s Scripture out of its context and use it to discourage evangelism, it is a most dastardly act. What sloppiness! If Jesus did not want His disciples to declare His “Christhood”/“Messiahship,” then why did the Holy Spirit empower them to preach that very message in Acts 2:38, Acts 3:6, Acts 3:18, Acts 4:10, et cetera? The Lord Jesus was not against His followers preaching His name to lost people. But, there came a point in His earthly ministry when that message was not to be preached to all of Israel. By the time of today’s Scripture, Jesus had already been demonstrating who He was to Israel for two years or more. They had so rejected Him that He did not waste His time anymore. He did not want His disciples to waste their time either. In the early Acts, Israel was given one final chance to trust Him. Of course, they still rejected Him. But, they heard plenty of “Jesus is Christ!”
*For more information, see our study, “Why did Jesus forbid others from preaching that He was Christ?”
Our latest Bible Q&A: “How many daughters did Lot have?”