A World Waiting To Be Won Duncan Heaster email the author


3. “Witnesses unto me”

3-1 “Witnesses unto me” || 3-2 Witnessing For Christ || 3-3 Paul Preaching Christ || 3-4 Boldness In Witness || 3-5 The Servant Songs || 3-6 The Proof Of The Resurrection Is The Church || 3-7 Preaching As Christ Did

3-7 Preaching As Christ Did

Not only must we preach because our Lord preached. We must witness as He witnessed. Paul understood us to have been anointed in a similar way to who Christ was anointed; and thereby we become witnesses of Him. In this context, he explains that he wasn’t vague and uncertain in the matter of preaching; he didn’t keep vacillating between yes and no because this was not how Jesus preached- in Him was “yes!” (2 Cor. 1:21,17). We carry in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus, and live His resurrection life even now in our mortal flesh- and “We having the same spirit of faith [as He had], according to that which is written, I believed and therefore did I speak. We also believe , and therefore also we speak” (2 Cor. 4:11-13). Here Paul quotes the Messianic Ps. 116:10 about our witness, which is a living out of the spirit which Jesus had in His death and present life and being in Heaven. And we should adopt a similar positive approach. As He ‘began’ in the prophets and expounded “in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk. 24:27), so those in Him “began at the same scripture, and preached....Jesus” (Acts 8:35). And thus Acts 5:14 AV says that converts were added “to the Lord” whereas the RVmg. speaks of them being added “to them”, i.e. the believers who comprised the body of Jesus.

When Paul wrote that “the servant of the Lord must not strive” in his preaching ministry (2 Tim. 2:24), he was alluding back to how the servant song described the Lord Jesus in His preaching as not striving or lifting up His voice in proud argument (Is. 42:2 cp. Mt. 12:19). And Paul goes on: “...but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing...”. This is all a pen picture of the Lord’s witness to men in Galilee. And yet it is applied to us. “Apt to teach” is surely an allusion to the way in which the Lord taught the people “as he was wont” (Mk. 10:1). So it’s not just that we should witness because the Lord, in whom we are, was the “faithful and true witness” (Rev. 1:5; 3:14); because we are in Him, we must witness as He did, with something of that same ineffable mixture of candour, meekness and Divine earnestness for man’s salvation. As the Lord was sent into the world, so He sends us into the world [Jn. 14:12; 17:18; 20:21 - this is perhaps John’s equivalent of the great commission]. Jesus ‘came down’ to this world in the sense that He was the word of the Father made flesh, and ‘all men’ saw the light of grace that was radiated from His very being. And that same word must be flesh in us, as it was in the Lord. We are to be a living epistle, words of the Gospel made flesh, “known and read of all men” (2 Cor. 3:2). Earlier the Lord had sent out His men as lambs (Lk. 10:3)- as those in Him, the Lamb of God. It was written of the Lord’s preaching that He would not “strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice [raised up in this way] in the streets”. And for this reason He asked His converts not to “make him known” in this way; He wanted them to witness as He witnessed (Mt. 12:16,19). This is quite something, the more we reflect upon it. He rebuked the self-righteous, restored peoples’ dignity, alleviated their poverty and sicknesses to give them a foretaste of the future blessings of His Kingdom on earth, opposed legalistic and corrupt religious practices, and ultimately gave His life to show that even His enemies were encompassed in His love. This is the pattern for us, especially in our seeking to do these things in the lives of those who respond to the Gospel.

It's interesting to compare the Gospel of John with his epistles. Clearly, he saw himself as manifesting to his brethren what the Lord Jesus had manifested to him. John records how the Lord had said: " I have said this to you...that your joy may be fulfilled" (Jn. 15:11), but he then says of himself that " We are writing these things so that your joy may be fulfilled" (1 Jn. 1:4 RV). He saw himself as the face and mouth of Jesus to his brethren; and so are all of us who are in Christ.

Continuing His Work

It also explains why the record of the Acts is a continuation of all that Jesus began to do and teach as recorded in the Gospels (Acts 1:1). The preachers were witnesses of Jesus (Acts 1:8). The logical objection to their preaching of a risen Jesus of Nazareth was: ‘But He’s dead! We saw His body! Where is He? Show Him to us!’. And their response, as ours, was to say: ‘I am the witness, so is my brother here, and my sister there. We are the witnesses that He is alive. If you see us, you see Him risen and living through us’. In this spirit, we beseech men in Christ’s stead. Just as the Lord strangely said that His own witness to Himself was a valid part of His overall witness, so our lives are our own witness to the credibility of what we are saying.  Paul in Galatians 2:20 echoes this idea: " I have been crucified with Christ: the life I now live is not my life, but the life which Christ lives in me; and my present bodily life is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me" . The spirit of the risen Christ lived out in our lives is the witness of His resurrection. We are Him to this world.

The spirit [of Christ] in us is what bears the witness [this theme is developed more in “What seekest thou?”]. The description of love in 1 Cor. 13, the outline of the fruits of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22-26, these are all portraits of the man Christ Jesus. The clearest witness to Him “therefore consists in human life in which his image is reproduced” (1). This approach helps us understand the Lord’s words about the sign of the prophet Jonah. As Jonah was three days in the whale and then came up out of it to preach to the Gentiles, so the Lord would be three days in the grave and then would rise- as a sign to the Jews. But how was His resurrection a sign to them, seeing they never saw His risen body? Yet the Lord’s reasoning demands that His resurrection be a sign to them, just as tangible as the re-appearance of the drowned Jonah. But, the Jews never saw Him after the resurrection...? The resolution must be that in the preaching of the risen Jesus by those in Him, it was as if the Jews saw Him, risen and standing as a sign before them, every bit as real as the Jonah who emerged from the whale after three days.

It is helpful to read Luke and Acts following straight on. It is evident that Luke saw the apostles as continuing the work of preaching that Jesus personally performed. One of the most evident connections is the way in which Luke ten times uses the word ‘euaggelizo’ to describe the Lord’s witness; it occurs only one other time in the other Gospels. And yet Luke uses the word 15 times in Acts to describe the witness of the apostles. He clearly saw them as continuing the ‘evangelion’ of Jesus. As Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom as He walked around Israel in the late 20s of the first century (Lk. 4:43; 8:1; 9:11; 16:16), so His men continued the very same witness (Acts 8:12; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23,31). Not only are there links between Acts and Luke, as if the preaching of the apostles continues the personal work of the Lord in whom they lived and moved, but often Acts records the preaching work in language lifted from the other Gospel records too (e.g. Acts 4:2; 5:12-16 = Mt. 4:23). And further, the synoptic Gospels use the same words for the activities of both Jesus and the disciples in respect of preaching, teaching, healing etc. Theirs was a shared ministry. Thus Jesus is recorded as “showing the glad tidings of the Kingdom” (Lk. 8:1), but in the same context He asks  a new convert to go home “and shew how great things God hath done” (8:39), as if he were to continue the ‘showing’ of Jesus. Particularly significant is the way Mark’s Gospel opens with Jesus going around preaching, appealing for people to repent and believe the Gospel (and this is described as “the beginning of the Gospel”). Mark concludes with us being asked to do the same, thereby directly continuing the work of the Lord, because we are in Him.

Bringing Forth His Fruit

In Jn. 12:23-26, the Lord foretold aspects of His coming sacrifice: “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit [spoke in the context of potential Gentile converts]. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it...if any man serve me, let him follow me”. Here the Lord goes on to assume that His death, His falling into the ground, would be matched by His followers also hating their lives, that they might rise again. And He connects His death with glorification. Soon afterwards, the Lord spoke of how his followers would likewise “bear much fruit”, and thus glorify God. And in this context He continues with words which can be read as John’s record of the great preaching commission: “I have chosen you...that ye should go [cp. “Go ye into all the world...”] and bring forth fruit” (Jn. 15:8,16). Clearly the Lord connected His bringing forth of “much fruit” through His death with the same “much fruit” being brought forth by the disciples’ witness. It follows from this that the fruit which He potentially achieved on the cross is brought to reality by our preaching. And perhaps it is also possible to see a parallel between our preaching and His laying down of His life on the cross, as if the work of witness is in effect a laying down of life by the preacher, in order to bring forth fruit. Likewise the Lord had earlier linked the life of cross carrying with bearing witness to the world around us (Lk. 9:23,26). As His witnesses we bare His cross as well as share His glory.

Think through the implications of Lk. 3:4, where we read that John’s preaching was in order to make [s.w. ‘to bring forth fruit’] His [the Lord’s] paths straight- but the ways of the Lord are “right” [s.w. “straight”] anyway (Acts 13:10). So how could John’s preaching make the Lord’s ways straight / right, when they already are? God is so associated with His people that their straightness or crookedness reflects upon Him; for they are His witnesses in this world. His ways are their ways. This is the N.T. equivalent of the O.T. concept of keeping / walking in the way of the Lord (Gen. 18:19; 2 Kings 21:22). Perhaps this is the thought behind the exhortation of Heb. 12:13 to make straight paths for our own feet. We are to bring our ways into harmony with the Lord’s ways; for He is to be us, His ways our ways. Thus Is. 40:3, which is being quoted in Lk. 3:4, speaks of “Prepare ye the way of the Lord”, whereas Is. 62:10 speaks of “Prepare ye the way of the people”. Yet tragically, the way / path of Israel was not the way / path of the Lord (Ez. 18:25). We are not only Jesus to this world but also effectively we are the witness to God Himself. We minister His care to others; to the extent that Paul could write both that he was a minister of God, and also a minister of the church (2 Cor. 6:4; Col. 1:24,25).

The crucial importance of personal, Christ-like example empowering our witness is brought out in Philemon 6: “The communication [sharing] of thy faith may become effectual [Gk. ‘energized’] by the acknowledgment [i.e. recognition, by others] of every good thing which is in you in Christ”. There’s a lot compacted into these words, strung together as they are in a rather awkward sentence. Our sharing of the faith is energized, it takes on power and compulsion as a witness, when others can acknowledge that we are “in Christ” because they see His characteristics reflected in us. This is why effective witness can only be made by those “in Christ”, those who show His personality written in theirs. This will ‘energize’ their sharing of the facts of the Gospel with others. As I have pointed out at such length in The Power Of Basics, each doctrine of the Gospel is designed to elicit practical changes in human life. Where those changes are apparent, the preaching of a doctrinal Gospel becomes empowered and energized. Proffering mere doctrinal propositions to this world and nothing else, will never be successful. It will lack power, energy and the compulsion required for conversion.

A Shared Witness

The apostles bore witness to the Lord Jesus (e.g. Acts 26:22; 1 Cor. 15:15 s.w.), and He in turn bore witness to the [preaching of] the word of his grace (Acts 15:8). In their witness lay His witness. Revelation begins with John witnessing / testifying to the Word [made flesh, i.e. Jesus], and concludes with Jesus testifying (Rev. 1;2 cp. 22:20 s.w.). The description of the rider on the white horse going out to conquer (Rev. 6:1,2) is intended to be linked with the description of the Lord Jesus in Rev. 19:11. Yet the rider of Rev. 6:1,2 is the ecclesia, going forth to powerfully convert the world in the run up to AD 70 (and also in the last days). Yet in doing so, they were effectively Christ to the world; His triumphant victories over men and women were theirs, and theirs were His. The witness of the Lord and of His disciple were one and the same. And had not John earlier written of how the witness on earth was a reflection of that in Heaven (1 Jn. 5:6,7)? The whole purpose of the Lord’s life was that He should “bear witness” unto the Truth of the Father (Jn. 18:37). But John also records the Lord’s expectations that all in Him should likewise “bear witness” (Jn. 15:27). And as John recounted the Gospel [of which the Gospel of John is a transcript], He stresses that by doing so he is ‘bearing witness’, living out the work of the Lord who lived as the faithful and true witness to men (Jn. 3:11; 19:35; 21:24 cp. 18:37). Peter appealed to Israel: “Hear these words...”, and then went on to quote a prophecy of how the Lord Jesus would be raised up [i.e. after His resurrection], “and him shall ye hear” Acts 2:22; 3:22,24). The record adds that the crowd received Peter’s word and were baptized (Acts 2:41), whereas elsewhere in Acts men and women receive the word of the Lord Jesus. It is simply so, that when we witness, the words we speak are in effect the words of Jesus. Our words are His. This is how close we are to Him. And this is why our deportment and manner of life, which is the essential witness, must be in Him. For He is articulated to the world through us. And it explains the paradox of Mk. 3:14, whereby Jesus chose men that they should “be with him and that he might send them forth to preach”. As they went out to witness, they were with Him, just as He is with us in our witness, to the end of the world [both geographically and in time]. And this solves another Marcan paradox, in Mk. 4:10: “When he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked him…”. Was He alone, or not? Mark speaks as if when the Lord was away from the crowd and with His true followers, He was “alone”- for He counted them as one body with Him. This was why the Lord told Mary, when she so desperately wanted to be personally with Him, to go and preach to His brethren (Jn. 20:18), just as He had told some of those whom He had healed- for going and preaching Him was in effect being with Him. Note how the Lord changes pronouns in Jn. 3:11: “Verily, I say unto thee, We speak…”. He clearly identifies the preaching of His followers with His own witness. Paul likewise could say that his converts “became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word...” (1 Thess. 4:9). He brackets himself along with his Lord.

Time and again, the Gospel records reveal how the disciples manifest the Lord Jesus. There are several passages where the text is unclear, as to whether it should read, e.g., “As they were on the way” or “As He went” (Lk. 17:11 RV cp. AV). The textual confusion may reflect the unity between the Lord and His preachers. Even within the Gospels, incident after incident shows the Lord doing something alone, and then the disciples somehow being presented as doing the same. Take the way He departed “himself alone” when the crowd wanted to make Him king; and then soon afterwards we read that the crowd perceived that the disciples had likewise departed ‘themselves alone’ [same Greek phrase and construction, Jn. 6:15,22]. The point is that the world is presented as perceiving the disciples in the same terms and way as they did Jesus, even when, in this case, Jesus was not physically with them. And we too are to be “in Him” in our work of witness for Him. The Lord Jesus describes Himself as sent “only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”; and yet he sends his preachers likewise solely “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt. 10:5,6; 15:24). His mission was theirs, and it is ours. As He was sent out by the Father, so He sends us out; we’re all in that sense ‘apostles’, sent out ones. The Lord sent out the 70 “before his face into every city whither he himself would come”. They were heralds of His presence; and He goes on in this context to tell them that they were “as lambs among wolves”- i.e. they were like Him, the lamb- and that therefore “he that rejecteth you rejecteth me” (Lk. 10:1,3,16 RV). Yet significantly, having told the 70 to proclaim His face to the cities where He would come, we find the comment: “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few [i.e. only 70]: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways…” (:2). Could this not mean that He would have travelled more extensively around Israel in His ministry than He did, but He was limited in the places He witnessed in by whether there were enough heralds to go there in advance and prepare the way? The dearth of workers meant that places He otherwise would have visited, He didn’t- for it seems that He had a policy of only Himself working in areas where His men had broken the ground. And is there not some worrying relevance of all this for our work in this day, in this hard land…?

All this has quite some practical import. The witness we make stems from our inner experience of and faith in Christ. We are in Him and therefore we effectively are Christ to this world. As such, “let a man so account of us as the ministers of Christ”. Our deportment, body language, dress, speech...all these things must reflect the Christ within. Now this doesn’t mean that therefore we must consciously dress or act in a Christ-like way when we are preaching, and leave it at an externality. People soon see through externalities. The witness stems from within, and as such these things will be naturally and artlessly reflective of the Lord within who is the master passion of our lives. We must ask, of course, whether He is within, and whether our witness is merely contrived, a putting before men of certain true propositions of Biblical exposition, and nothing more... We must examine ourselves, as to what kind of witness we are (and it is more a question of being a witness than making one). But if we are in Him and He is within us, then whenever we witness to Him, indeed in our whole lives of witness, He is intensely with us, even to the end of the world.

The Lord’s commission to His preachers comes along with a promise that He would “be with [them] always”. This is perhaps Matthew’s equivalent to John’s promise of the Comforter, who would abide with the Lord’s people for ever. The promise of Holy Spirit support in the work of fulfilling the great commission is not necessarily fulfilled in the ability to do miracles etc. It was in the first century, but not today. Yet the promise that “I am with you always, even [as you fulfil my commission to preach] unto the ends of the world”, is surely fulfilled in the promised Comforter, who is to ‘abide with us for ever’. What does this mean? The Comforter clearly refers to the personal presence of Jesus, even though He is not visibly with us:

The Comforter

The Lord Jesus

Will come into the world

Jn. 5: 43; 16:28; 18:37

Comes forth from the Father


Given by the Father

Jn. 3:16

Sent by the Father

Jn. 3:17

The spirit of truth

The truth Jn. 14:6

The Holy Spirit

The Holy One of God Jn. 6:69

The disciples would know / recognize the Comforter

As they knew / recognized Jesus Jn. 14:7,9

Would remain within the disciples

Jn. 14:20,23; 15:4,5; 17:23,26

Declares things to come

Jn. 4:25,26

Bears witness, against the world

Jn. 8:14; 7:7

Not accepted by the world

Jn. 5:43; 12:48

Unseen by the world

Jn. 16:16

Because of this, the Lord made a clever word play by saying that “ ‘Peace’ [shalom] is my farewell to you” (Jn. 14:27)- when ‘Peace’ was what you said when you met someone, to say ‘Hello’. His farewell in the flesh was His ‘hello’, in that His personal presence would be with them. This Comforter, this personal presence of Jesus, is given especially in the context of fulfilling the great commission to take Him to the whole world. He will be with us, there will be a special sense of His abiding presence amongst us, because we are witnessing “in Him”, and our witness is a shared witness with Him. Any who have done any witnessing work, not necessarily missionary work, but any witnessing to Him, will have felt and known His especial presence, as He promised. And we live in a time similar to that when John’s Gospel was written- a time when the church were disappointed the Lord had not returned as quickly as they thought He would, when the eyewitnesses of Jesus in the flesh were not with them any longer. John’s point is that through the Comforter, it’s as good as if Jesus is here with us; and he brings out in his gospel how things like the judgment, eternal life, the coming of Jesus etc. all essentially occur within the life of the believer right now.

Peter taught that “God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him” to preach to the Jews (Acts 3:26). Yet the Lord Jesus personally resurrected and ascended to Heaven, having ‘sent’ His followers into the world. Yet because all in Him are so fully His personal witnesses, representative of Him as He is representative of them, in this way it’s true to say that the Lord Jesus personally was “sent” into the world with the Gospel message after His resurrection. And by all means connect this with Peter’s difficult words in 1 Pet. 3:19- that by the spirit of Christ, Christ ‘went’ after His resurrection to preach to those imprisoned. By our sharing His Spirit, we are Him ‘going’ and preaching. In this sense the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). And because Peter was alluding to the ‘sending’ of the great commission, he goes on to say that the spiritually imprisoned to whom we preach are saved by the baptism we minister in fulfilment of the great commission, in the same way as the ark saved people in Noah’s day.

The Essential Witness

The above paragraphs have shown beyond doubt that because we are in Christ, therefore we witness Him; and we witness as He witnessed. His witness is in fact ours. But there is a sober theme in Scripture: that the essential witness of Christ was in His time of dying. “The preaching [‘the word’] of the cross” (1 Cor. 1:18) refers to the way in which the cross itself was and is a witness, rather than speaking of preaching about the cross. The blood of Christ speaks a message, better than that of Abel. It is a voice that shakes heaven and earth (Heb. 12:24,26). This is after the pattern of how the commanding voice of Yahweh was heard above the blood sprinkled on “the atonement cover of the ark of the Testimony” (Num. 7:89 NIV). It shows forth, as a voice, God’s righteousness (Rom. 3:25,26 RV). Rev. 19:13 draws a connection between Christ’s title as “the word of God” and the fact His clothing is characterised by the blood of His cross. Ps. 40:9 describes how the Lord Jesus accomplished God’s will as the ultimate sacrifice, through the death of the cross. That death is foretold by the Lord, in the prophetic perfect, as ‘preaching righteousness to the great congregation’ [LXX ekklesia]. In living out the dying of the man Christ Jesus in our daily lives, we are making the witness of Christ. In the context of telling His followers to witness to Him, the Lord equates this with taking up their cross daily (Lk. 9:23,26). To not bear that cross is to deny the knowledge of Him before men. To live the crucifixion life is the essential witness. Every act of grace, every evident sign of self-control, every statement of forgiveness towards misunderstanding and unrepentant men...all this is showing something of the cross. And in this, painful and difficult as it is, demanding and driving-to-the-limit as it must be, lies the essence of our being the Lord’s witnesses. To witness Christ is not to just painlessly distribute a few tracts. It is to live out the dying of the cross.

In Paul’s inspired thought, on the cross the Lord “gave himself” for us (Gal. 1:4; 1 Tim. 2:6; Tit. 2:14). And yet he uses the same Greek words to describe how are to ‘give ourselves’ for our brethren (2 Thess. 3:9), to ‘give ourselves’ in financial generosity to their needs (2 Cor. 8:5), and in Acts 19:31 we meet the same phrase describing how Paul ‘gave himself’ into the theatre at Ephesus, filled with people bent on killing him, taking the conscious choice to risk his life in order to share the Gospel with others. In this I see a cameo of how the choice of preaching the Gospel is in fact a conscious living out of the Lord’s example on the cross. Paul was discouraged from doing so by his friends and brethren; and yet surely he had his mind on the way the Lord ‘gave himself’ for us in His death, as a conscious choice, and so he brushed aside his reserve, that human desire to do what appears the sensible, safe option… in order to bring others to the cross of Christ. And day by day we have the same choice before us.

“The work that the Father gave me to finish...testifies” (Jn. 5:36 NIV); and thus when “it [was] finished” in the death of the cross, the full testimony / witness of God was spoken and made. When He was lifted up in crucifixion, the beholding Jews knew that His words were truly those of the Father; they saw in the cross God’s word spoken through Christ, they saw there the epitome of all the words the Lord spoke throughout His ministry (Jn. 8:28). The Lord’s blood was thus a spoken testimony to all men (1 Tim. 2:6 AVmg.). Beholding the cross and the water and blood that flowed from it, John struggled with the inadequacy of human language: “He that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true” (Jn. 19:35). Years later he described himself, in allusion to this, as he “who bare record [in the past tense] of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:2). He had earlier commented that the Spirit, water and blood of the cross bore witness (1 Jn. 5:8). John seems to be saying that the Lord’s final death which he had witnessed was the word of God, the testimony of Jesus Christ. And as he had been a faithful witness to this, so now he would be of that further revelation he had now seen in the Apocalypse. Because he had beheld the Lord’s witness on the cross, he witnessed. For he was in Christ, part of Him, of His life and death. And so are each of us. Paul puts our thesis in so many words, by saying that his preaching to the Galatians had been a placarding forth of Christ crucified before their eyes (Gal. 3:1 Gk.). His witness to them had been a living out of the Lord in His time of dying.

When we read of how we are to be "witnesses" to all the world, a look under the surface of the text shows that the Greek word 'martyr' is being used (Acts 1:8). We're all martyrs. Augustine said that “The cause, not the suffering, makes a genuine martyr.” In his play Murder in the Cathedral, T. S. Eliot defines a martyr as one “who has become an instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, not lost it but found it, for he has found freedom in submission to God. The martyr no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of martyrdom”. We can all enter into the definition of witness / martyrdom in this sense, insofar as we are 'in' the suffering Christ, even if in practice we may never be called to take a single blow to our body as the result of our witnessing.

Identification With Our Audience

The pattern of preaching which we see in the Father and in the Lord Jesus must be our model. He identified with us in order to 'get through' to us; the power of His personality and work rests in the fact that He was genuinely human. God Himself chose this method, of manifestation in a Son our our nature, in order to redeem us. We can do likewise, in identifying with our audience; living as they do when in a mission field; learning their language, both literally and metaphorically; patient bearing with those suffering from depression, Aspergers, alcoholism, various neuroses... to win them. Thus to the Gentiles Paul became as a Gentile; and as a Jew in order that he might win them who were under the law (1 Cor. 9:20). This is exemplified by the fact that he underwent synagogue floggings (2 Cor. 11:24)- which were only administered to Jews who willingly submitted to the punishment because they were orthodox Jews (2). This was the extent to which Paul became as a Jew in the hope of winning the Jews. Fly by preachers, seeking to establish a colony of their home base, will never achieve much lasting success.



(1) C.K.Barrett, Paul (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1994) p. 45.

(2) Mentioned in Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion To Jesus In Earliest Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003) p. 88; E.P. Sanders, Paul, The Law, And The Jewish People (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983) pp. 177,178 .