The Words of a Great Preacher

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 4
Many years ago there was a very remarkable preacher, that drew thousands and thousands to hear him. He was a true man of God. We may say he was the most remarkable preacher on earth, and he drew the greatest multitudes after him—far greater than any other man. The whole country came to hear him. It would, if such a thing occurred now, be considered a great revival. To all appearances great numbers repented. Indeed, it seemed to be a great work but there was little effect from these most popular preachings.
But, so far as we know, there was little or no real lasting effect from these most popular preachings. No one really followed Christ.
Soon after this we are told, and it is true such changes do occur, this very same preacher, though in the open air, had a congregation of two. He preached on this occasion a very different sermon—all he said was contained in five words. The effect was marvelous. Both became decided for Christ there and then. They both became most useful servants of Christ; devoted followers of Christ. A work began that day, the like of which had never been seen before on earth, and which has continued until this day; though, we should say, that after three or four years, it became deeper, and even far more blessed.
Do you ask the name of this preacher sent of God? His name was John the Baptist. You may have read the account many times, and like myself, have never noticed the different effect produced, until a brother at a distance called my attention to the contrast. You may read a minute account of the great revival preaching in Matthew 3; and no doubt God used this in preparing the way. And often, the preacher can see no immediate fruit that satisfies his longing heart; he may not see one soul manifestly brought to Christ, and yet the ground may be preparing for the seed. Is it not remarkable how many may be baptized, and not one be brought to follow Christ? How many now may be baptized, and yet be lost forever?
Let us, however, turn to the short sermon to two, and mark its effects. (John 1:3535Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; (John 1:35) to end of chapter.) “Again the next day after, John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” What a living text! The preacher’s eyes were upon Jesus, “looking upon Jesus,” not looking upon the crowd. What he looked at was his text; his subject was the living Person of Jesus, and Jesus as the Lamb of God! And he said, Behold Him, “Behold the Lamb of God!”1 Yes, God’s lamb; hitherto man had brought his lamb. Five words! Without this, tons of volumes of theology are worthless. What words to Jewish ears who had seen in the law, that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Here was the Son of God; and He was the Lamb of God. Behold Him. The two heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. How simple, yet this is the power of God. Has any message come to your heart yet, and turned you from everything else to follow Jesus?
Jesus saw them, and He sees you at this moment. And Jesus said unto them, and He says unto you, “What seek ye?” Do you hear Him? You profess to be a Christian. What seek ye? What is your object? They said, “Master, where dwellest Thou?” “He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” Will you come and see? Will you abide with Him? We are near the end; soon He will appear. Now, if Jesus is nothing to you, you will say, No, I will stay where I am. I see no good in giving everything up to follow Jesus. What is Jesus to you? Is He everything, or is He nothing?
“Come and see.” And if you see where He dwells, abide with Him. You must be with Jesus or with Satan, the god of this world. First abide with Him, and then become a preacher. So did one of them, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He became a preacher to the first person he met. He did not wait until he could get a room, or begin to preach in a room, a chapel, or a hall. “He first findeth his own brother Simon.” “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona.” Yes, it was the very future Apostle Peter brought to Jesus by this little sermon-preaching of Andrew. Oh, if every true follower of Jesus, the Lamb of God, would just go out and seek a brother Simon! Now mark the preaching of Andrew. He says, “We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” This was true, but we should say much more— “We have found the Saviour.” Nay, He has found us. Ah, this kind of preaching would have far more effect than all the learned eloquence in the world.
C. S.
1. It would seem in these verses that John was not conscious of having an audience, but he spoke from a heart overflowing with the contemplation of Christ. Oh the power of a few words thus spoken! —Ed.