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If Jesus Were a Modern Preacher
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 by Frank Shortt
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       Scripture declares that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever! What if he had been as one of the modern preachers we refer to as televangelists today?
       Jesus, being a healer of all diseases, and a discerner of the hearts of His hearers, was in great demand during the early part of His ministry. He walked everywhere. Dusty roads, laden with horse manure, flies, mud puddles, and bandits were a common occurrence with Him. If he had been like most well-known preachers today, He would have demanded, and gotten a well-furnished carriage with attendants, or his own chariot to convey him around. If a Cadillac will do, a Rolls Royce will be better! No means of transportation is too good for the one who carries the Gospel!
       Scripture teaches that when Jesus was asked by his disciples where he lived, he told them, “The birds of the air have nests, the foxes have dens in the earth, but the Son of man has not a place to lay his head.” Had he been as one of the modern preachers he would have demanded a 4,000 square foot mansion complete with maids and butlers, a swimming pool, and many servants to do his bidding. Then he would have had a summer retreat somewhere on the Mediterranean to rest up from his fifteen-minute sermons that took him hours of sweating blood to prepare.
       Jesus asserted that he did nothing until the Father, which was in Him, told him first. Had he been like most preachers today, he would have had so many college degrees they would have completely covered him as he lay down. He would have founded several universities and demanded that every one of his disciples must have at least three degrees from that particular school. (Boy, does that ever bring in the income!) When Jesus was twelve years of age he was found in the temple teaching the doctors and lawyers there. They asked, “When and where did this child learn letters?” It is not recorded that He ever attended school even one day.
Jesus wore the clothing of the common man of his day. His garments were probably make from rough hand-woven wool or some other type of animal hair. If he had been like one of our modern preachers, he would have worn one of the finest silk robes that money, given to him by his followers, could buy. His footwear would have been of the highest quality known to man at that time. They probably did not make Stacy Adams’ shoes then! (As a little side note, John the Baptist, who Jesus said was the greatest prophet ever, “had clothing of camel’s hair and a leather girdle about his middle. He ate locusts and wild honey for food!” Why does an evangelist need a thousand dollar silk suit to preach the Gospel?
       Jesus was born in a manger. Smelly stable denizens were his roommates. Stench of animal droppings emanated throughout the dark, cramped structure, dug out in the side of a hill, fenced in with rough hand-hewn lumber. Today, Jesus would have been born in a pink-painted nursery, with frilly curtains to allow as much sun as possible. White clad nurses would be running back and forth caring for his every need. Several doctors would have been at his beck and call to assure that he was in the best of health.
When Jesus preached, he sat on a rock or a stump out in the open and everyone else stood or sat on the ground. There were no P.A systems, so His words had to be, either magnified by God, or passed from the front to the back for all to hear. It is not recorded that Jesus ever took up an offering ‘to help with expenses’ or to buy time on television or radio. When food was needed he simply took what was present and magnified it to feed the whole multitude. Our modern, overweight preacher must have filet mignon steak at least twice a day and spend thousands to pay for a weight trainer to remove the pounds. The modern evangelist will not travel to a city to hold a revival unless he is promised so many thousand dollars beforehand. The campaign must be in a well-lighted auditorium with all the latest conveniences. Everyone who attends must have a seat with cup-holder, the softest cushions in town, and heated to perfection in winter or air-conditioned in the summer. One lately coerced his parishioners into buying him an expensive jet. Why? To speed up the process of preaching the Gospel to the whole world!
       “To be like Jesus, to be like Him” is the song of most Protestant preachers. In order to be like Him they must have every convenience the modern world has to offer. If the offering is too small, they will just take up another, and another, and if needs be, another, in order to assure that their lifestyle is maintained. Nothing is too good for our modern purveyor of the Gospel. If he must, he will water the gospel down in order to keep his crowd.
       I daresay, if the same Jesus of Nazareth stood here in our modern edifices, he would say the same thing that He said before; “You have made my place of prayer into a den of thieves!” Has much changed since the year A.D 30?