Look well at my handpicked servant;
I love him so much, take such delight in him.
I’ve placed my Spirit on him;
he’ll decree justice to the nations.
But he won’t yell, won’t raise his voice;
there’ll be no commotion in the streets.
He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings,
won’t push you into a corner.
Before you know it, his justice will triumph;
the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even
among far-off unbelievers.
“He won’t yell, won’t raise his voice;” I like the sound of that verse from this passage found in Matthew chapter twelve. It sounds like peace and quiet to me. Jesus has just had a confrontation with the Pharisees, and walked away. Matthew quotes Isaiah (chapter 42 verses 1 to 4) indicating that these verses described Jesus and his methods.
These words were originally penned about Cyrus, the king of Persia, who ended the exile of the Jews. It seems clear to me that they also refer to Jesus and his mission here on Earth. However, Biblical prophecy is not what I want to talk about. Instead, let us focus on those words “He won’t yell.”
The King James puts it this way, “He shall not strive, nor cry.” What a far cry from what we have today! Jesus was mindful of his hearers and did not try and force anyone to see his point of view. He was polite. Politeness is not a virtue they teach you in Bible school. When we attend evangelism class, we are not taught to be mindful of our targets feelings. Jesus did not push people into a corner, but we are educated to not let the prospect get away without making a decision.
What is wrong with us? Can we not see that Jesus was and is radically different than what we typically call a Christian today? He is not like the preachers we know today.
I speak to our community every Sunday. I present what I believe to be a message that God has inspired. There have been times in the past year and a half that I have wondered am I doing this right? Other preachers that I know end up yelling, jumping, running, and sweating by the end of their speech, but I just talk to my friends. Excitement I can understand. There are times when I get excited about what I am talking about and get to going fast, but still I find myself so different. I no longer feel bad about that; in fact I am glad to be different than the majority of preachers of our day.
Are you saying that you are the only good preacher out there? No. I am not saying I am the only one. I know of many good preachers. The problem is that we are not yelling, pushing ourselves, and otherwise causing commotion in the street. So therefore the masses are not hearing our messages. I am not the only one. The only reason I write about myself is because I am the preacher that I know best.
In today’s world of mass media, how are we to tell the good from the bad? How is it possible to know who is a false prophet or teacher? I used to think of a false prophet or teacher as someone who would come and say something crazy like, “The moon is really made of cheese.” I have found out though that these guys sometimes, in fact a good amount of the time, preach and teach things that are true. They are good at creating and delivering sermons. What makes the difference is motivation. Why do evangelists find it necessary to instill a fear of hell and even a fear of the God who can send you to hell into us? The answer is simple, numbers. It is all about the number of responses to the message. We all feel better when people actually hear and respond to what we feel. My ego always gets a boost when a friend comes to me to let me know they were really touched by what I had to say. Money is also a strong motivation for preachers. I cannot tell you how many times I have been tempted to preach sermons that would result in bigger offerings for our project. Thank God that he has kept me from falling for that temptation.
When you boil it down, the motivation of a false prophet or teacher is not to mislead you, but rather their motivation is themselves. Greed and ego are very powerful human traits.
Who cares? Why do we need to bother with testing preachers? Why not just stop listening all together? God uses preachers to deliver his message, and we need to know the message he sends. It is possible to follow Christ without ever hearing a sermon, but that does not mean we should not listen. I have heard thousands of sermons in my life, and I honestly think I am better for it. I learn, I am entertained, and I get to see how someone else lives in the Kingdom of God.
He did not yell, so maybe we need to stop yelling at the world.