Shout It from The Rooftops

Matthew 10:26-27 “So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”

Preaching, teaching, speaking, telling the gospel out loud and publicly has been God’s plan from the beginning. He did not send Jesus to start a secret society. Sometimes the gospel is described in the New Testament as a “mystery,” but that is not because God tried to keep people from hearing about it. It is because the world valued the message so little that God had to go to extraordinary lengths to keep the message alive and get people to listen.

Even the people of Israel, whom the Lord rescued from Egypt with many miracles and to whom he revealed his promises through many prophets, wanted as little to do with the good news as they could manage. They tried to follow every false and foreign god they could find. They put the prophets to death. They lost whole sections of Scripture for generations.

But God kept the message alive until Jesus came. Then Jesus sent his disciples to the rest of the world so that he could disclose it and make it known to us today. He didn’t do it so that we would sit on it and keep it our own little secret. “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”

What did Jesus tell his disciples “in the dark”? What has he “whispered” in our ears? Part of the training to be one of Jesus’ “Twelve” took place as they watched Jesus preach to the masses and perform his healing miracles. But much of their training also took place in private. When Jesus asked the Twelve who they thought he was, and Peter answered that he was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, that was a private time of instruction. Jesus warned them not to tell anyone else…yet. That preaching would wait until after his resurrection.

You received part of your training and instruction in the dark and quiet of your homes and churches. Did your mom read a Bible story and pray with you before she tucked you into bed at night? Did you sit in Sunday School classrooms with just a few others–maybe four, or eight, or a dozen students like Jesus had? How big was your confirmation class? There were just four in mine, and we met in the church basement. Some of you who took the class as adults might have been one-on-one with the pastor.

What did you hear in those dark and quiet places? Was it secret handshakes, mysterious rituals, and strange words to mumble under your breath? No, it was the best good news there has ever been! It was God’s own promise that he does not hold your sins against you–not a one of them. Instead he sent his one and only Son to bear the guilt of all our sins, give his life in payment for them on a cross, and rise again three days later as victor over sin and giver of life that never ends.

He did it freely. He did not and does not require that we bring him something–not a single dollar, not a one-time favor, a minute of our own sweat or effort–in order to receive the gift.

He did it completely. He did not exclude crimes of a certain size or greater consequence. He did not leave scattered petty sins for us to clean up ourselves. Jesus did it all, and he did it for free.

That is a great thing to say! Shout it from the rooftops! Tell your neighbors. Work it into your conversation with the person buckled into the seat next to you on the airplane. Post it on your Facebook page. Make it part of your email signature. Instead of small talk in the waiting room, make it big talk about Jesus. Wherever you can find an opening, let your Savior be known. His words deserve to be shared.

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