“So with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.”
– Luke 3:18
Oh, there’s so much here in this short verse describing the work, the labor of John the Baptist. “With many exhortations, he preached good news to the people.”
Luke 3:18 Is a perfect Summary of John the Baptist’s Life
Well, one, make the connection with Luke 2:10, “An angel pronouncing, and I bring you good news of great joy to all the people.” And John is proclaiming good news to the people. Like, this is what we do. This is what all who know Jesus do. We preach, we proclaim good news. We have the greatest news in the world, and we share it with people. But the word I really want to camp out on and pray according to is when it says in Luke 3:18, “With many other exhortation, he preached good news to the people.”
Exhortations, to exhort. It’s like a picture of encouragement with passion, encouragement with urging. I exhort you to do this. I’m urging you to believe this good news, John was saying. I exhort you to repent of your sin. I’m urging you with passion to do this. I encourage you with this good news. And I just want you to think about sharing the gospel in your life, where you go to school, where you go to work, in your neighborhood, your community, your city. I think if we’re not careful, we can view sharing the gospel as merely a matter of transferring information.
Now, let me tell you about Jesus. And as we’ve prayed in light of Mark 16, for example, we are tempted to be silent, not even share that much, not even talk about Jesus, but even when we do talk about Jesus to talk about him in terms of okay, who he is, what he did on the cross, his resurrection from the dead. But the question is, are we simply sharing information about Jesus or are we exhorting people to believe in Jesus? Are we passionately urging people to follow Jesus? There should be in our conversations with non-Christians, a sense of exhortation. Not just sharing the gospel as information but exhortation, like your eternity is dependent on this. Your life today is dependent on this. Believe this good news. To share the gospel with many exhortation.
Luke 3:18 Encourages us to be Bold when Sharing the Gospel
I just want to encourage you to pray for boldness. One, to share the gospel at all, but two, to pray for boldness to exhort people with the gospel, to urge people to trust in Jesus. So God, we pray for this. We praise you for this picture of John the Baptist in Luke 3. We praise you for his faithfulness with many exhortations to preach good news to the people. And we pray that you would help us to do the same. Pray that you would help me to do the same. I know, I confess, I’m tempted to just do this when I’m on a stage as a pastor and not do this personally in relationships with people around me.
God, help me to be faithful with many exhortations to preach, proclaim good news to people around me. And God, I pray for this over my brothers and sisters listening to this. We pray for your help, for your boldness, for no fear, for no concern for our reputation, for no worry about awkwardness.
Praying for Boldness to Share the Gospel
God, we pray for boldness and compassion to exhort people with the gospel. We pray for that today in our lives this week, and we pray that as we do that you would draw people to life in Jesus through our exhortations. That there would be people in our schools, in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods, our communities, our cities who believe the good news because of these exhortations.
And we pray for this all around the world when we think about unreached people groups, and missionaries who are working among them, indigenous brothers and sisters in Christ, who are some of the only Christians in the places where they live. God help them with many exhortations to preach good news to the people. And we pray that as a result, many people would believe this good news and experience life in you as a result of our exhortations. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.