License to Preach
Did Jesus had a formal education?
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth ... Matthew 13:53-56 (NKJV)
53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him.
License ... nonsense
Four Johns and a Gospel
First came John the Baptist, though he was not the light, he spoke boldly about the coming of the Light. For the Light was indeed coming and had now come, the Light of the World, which would be Jesus, of course. He, John, was asked if he were the Messiah; for he spoke with authority and many thronged to see and be baptized by him, but John held firmly, to the account that he was not the Messiah. John was only making straight the path for his (The Messiah's) coming.
Then, behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of man. John's proclamation of this truth made the religious leaders of that day very fearful, for they saw the light, but did not understand it. Their were certain men, the priests, who valued their status more so than they valued truth and they could not allow such men to undermine their authority in leading the children of Israel.
As Jesus was baptized by John; an anointing, an announcement was proclaimed. Here is my son, my beloved son of whom I am well pleased. God has revealed his Son to us and John has led us to Him.
Therein begins the Gospel, the "Good News" has just arrived. Jesus would now go forth and assemble his disciples. Among the first; Simon and Andrew, would soon to be joined by James and another John, the sons of Zebedee. This John, was to Jesus his beloved disciple and through this John's eyes and accounts, we may have the clearest picture of how the gospel was an act of love, an act of such magnitude, that the likes of which have never again been seen. This John would bear testimony of the Light which had permeated the darkness and the darkness did not understand, nor could it understand that light. John understood though and would continue to dwell in the Light, to the extent of sharing with a later disciple from Tarsus, Saul, who became Paul and who was at first blinded by the Light, but later was made to see. many a year would pass and accounts of the "Light of the World" would not be hidden. These accounts, inspired by God, would become our Bible and through these words, we would find God's Word, that is his Son, the Christ and many would be saved and more than a few would be martyred.
Another John, John Bunyan, would rather be jailed than to preach only what he was told he could preach. For had he taken an offer to become a minister with the only "authorized" church, that is the Church of England, he would have gained hs freedom. This John, chose however to decline such an offer that only men could conceive and to follow the offer that was truth, the offer placed on his heart by God, to preach the gospel and to proclaim the "Good News" to bind together the broken hearted and as a witness to others to hold onto truth, even under the most adverse of conditons, he did endure two prison terms and would lose over ten years of his freedom, but keep intact his salvation.
In this same time period, mid 17th century, 1661, he John Bunyan, was a prisoner as indeed is the last John I will discuss here. Here is the account of John James:
The year was 1661. John James was preaching in a small hall in London to a small gathering of people on a Sabbath (Saturday) afternoon. Well into his service, the doors opened; the sheriff and his assistant appeared demanding in the name of the King that James cease his preaching. James’ "crime" was twofold: first, he was preaching without a license from the Church of England, the only official church recognized by the British government; second, he was a Sabbatarian, believing that the Bible teaches that the Sabbath of the Lord is the seventh day of the week.
James believed he had a higher authority than the King of England, and continued to preach. He was arrested forthwith, and placed in prison. To the consternation of all who respected him, he was charged with high treason. The best efforts of the defense could not prevail and James was condemned to the enacted punishment for those convicted of high treason—to be hanged, drawn and quartered.
The Gospel remains, whether it is preached by a minstrel, a miner or a minister. As long as it is preached and preached correctly, who can stand against such a man or a woman; licensed, formally schooled or just a fisherman, perhaps a government employee of the IRS. If God be for them, who could stand against them?
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