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 His “method of public witness.” Meaning, Jesus preached on the streets more than any one place- more than the temple or in homes… the streets and outdoor countrysides were His pulpit and the public was his congregation. However, many today in the modern church believe they can avoid following Jesus’ example and simply choose whatever way is most comfortable for them.
Thus, no one would disagree to say that all believers are to witness and have freedom to choose methods that work best for them- 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.
Notice the verse above where Jesus described where the gospel will go- to the “roads and country lane,” i.e., “the main streets and alleys/back roads!” As a result, we cannot only do friendship style evangelism with those we know and share life with. We are also commanded to go out to public places and make the name of Jesus known to strangers. This kind of public witness is not only found in the life of Jesus but all throughout the book of Acts and is seen as normative.
For example Acts 17:17 states 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.” If Paul the apostle preached both in churches 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 share the gospel.
- Teach and encourage others to be public witnesses for Jesus.