Luke 14:23, “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.”
Some well-intentioned Christians have said that though all believers are to preach the “message” of Jesus, not everyone is commanded to follow the witnessing “method” of Jesus. In other words, they believe even though Jesus preached on the streets more than any one place- more than the temple or in homes, we can avoid following Jesus’ example and choose whatever way is most comfortable for us.
Everyone agrees that Christians are free to choose whatever evangelistic methods work best for them; whether it be on the job, at lunch meetings, etc… however, the overwhelming example of Jesus’ method on the streets must be followed and obeyed as the first priority by all.
You can’t pick and choose to only obey the commands of Jesus that you like and ignore the ones you don’t like because they take you out of your comfort zone. And there is no doubt about it- being a public witness for Jesus is just as much of a command as, “love your neighbor as yourself!”
Notice in today’s passage where Jesus described the gospel will go- to the “roads and country lane,” i.e., “the main streets and country roads!” As a result, we shouldn’t only do friendship style evangelism with those we know, but we should also go out to public places and preach the gospel to strangers. Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” And in Mark 16:20 it records, “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” We need to be like first disciples and preach the gospel everywhere- at the park, at bus stops, in the malls, in front of colleges and high schools- everywhere!
This kind of public witnessing is not only found in the life of Jesus but all throughout the book of Acts and is seen as normative. For example, Luke records in Acts 17:17 that Paul, “reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.” A wise man once said, “You can make disciples like Jesus or you make excuses, but you can’t do both at the same time.” Therefore, if Paul the apostle preached both in religious places and in the public market places- we shouldn’t hesitate to do both either!
Do you believe Jesus commanded all of His disciples to be public witnesses?
- Repent if you have neglected being a public witness for Christ.
- Make time to go out in public and preach the gospel.
- Teach and encourage others to be public witnesses for Jesus.