It can be observe the Word of God is being preached in different places like markets, street corners and public transportation nowadays. Some are wondering why do people preach in these places? Some are bewildered with the novelty of this occurrence. Is this biblical? This is the question asked by people.
It is important to note that this seemingly new practice of preaching the Word of God in public places (market places, fish port, and streets) was started by Jesus and his apostles. Public preaching is not actually new; it traces its origin in Jesus Christ’s ministry.
In chapter 5 of the book of Luke, Jesus was preaching the Word of God near the shore. His audience was not confined to the fishermen; it includes the people within vicinity. Those involve in buying and selling fish also listened to the preaching. “One day as Jesus was standing by the lake of the Gennesareth, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.” Luke 5:1-3(NIV)
It can be seen that Jesus brought the Word of God wherever He went. Whether it is passing through the streets of the town or being situated in the mountains, the places did not stop the preaching. Proof of this is the sermons Jesus delivered. The setting of the sermon is not a temple nor on front of the pulpit. His aim is to let everyone hear the Word of God.The apostles were also involved in the public preaching. Peter’s greatest sermon during the Pentecost happened not inside the temple or synagogue but near a road in Jerusalem. The power of God was poured out on the disciples gathered around the disciples that mocked and ridiculed them.
Peter remained unruffled and boldly faced the crown. He lifted up his voice and preached a sermon that resulted in a very remarkable result about 3,000 souls were baptized. It can be said that Peter preached to a crowd numbering more than sermon believed and accepted. Some jeered, some doubted while some simple rejected the message. The large crowd that amassed also wouldn’t fit inside the upper room. They were situated outdoors, on the side of the road of Jerusalem. Another example is Paul and his ministry. In Acts 17, he preached in Areopagus which is also known as Mars Hills. The setting here is not a temple, chapel nor synagogue. The Word of God was preached out in the open, something similar to our modern day parks.The word used in this translation is reasoned. The Greek word is “dialegomia”. It was translated as “speak” in Hebrews 12:5 and “preach” in Acts 17:17. “So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplaces day by day with those who happened to be there.” (NIV)
The word used in this translation is reasoned. The Greek word is “dialegomai”. It was translated as “speak” in the Hebrews 12:5 and “preach” in Acts 20:7. In Acts 17:1-2, it can be noticed that it has been the practiced of Paul to preach on the synagogue, reason and discuss with the people the Scriptures. The same word is used in the preaching in the synagogue, and in the market places. In Luke 14:21, “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”Furthermore in verse 23, Then the master told his servant, “Go out the roads and country lanes and make them came in so that my house will be full”. In the King James Version of Luke 14:23, it mentioned “…Go out into the highways and hedges …” Hedges are rows of bushes or small trees planted closed together to form a fence usually separating a road from adjoining fields.
The passages in chapter 14 of Luke refer to the parable of the great banquet. It is illustrative of the salvation offered to man. It is likened to a big feast prepared by a wealthy person. All that needs to be done is for people to show up and take part in the feast. Salvation offered by God is ready paid for; it has already been taken cared of. People just have come, believe, profess their faith and accept the salvation. God has commissioned the church to bring this invitation to all places. What the Church is doing now, preaching the gospel to the public in market places, streets corner and similar settings, is in fulfillment of a God-given task. Not only was this commanded, it was also done by Jesus himself and apostles during their time.
Some would ask, why is public preaching done only recently? It is because those who are claiming that they are the church of Jesus Christ have actually strayed from the practices of Jesus Christ and the apostles. With the rise of the Church of Christ with an apostolic leadership, there is resurgence in the apostolic practices. With the sent one of God, there is a return to the things and practices started by Jesus and his disciples. There is now a recurrence of the events in the past. The Word of God is now prominently found in the public places and public transportation started by the Lord Himself, continued by the apostle is now carried out by the people of God in our times.
Taken from The Word, Issue 162