The Strange Silences of the Savior
Many years ago, when I was an open-air preacher, I was challenged by a man in Wolverhampton, England. That encounter has never been forgotten; it was one of my strangest experiences. The preaching service had ended, and my colleagues and I were mingling with the crowd hoping to assist some who had expressed a desire to become Christians. Suddenly a raucous voice shouted, "What you said was untrue. Jesus Christ does not satisfy the needs of men!" To say the least I was astounded, but the man's statement made the audience come closer. I responded saying, "What do you know about it?" He replied, "Everything. I was saved once, and I can tell everybody that Jesus does not satisfy the needs of men. You are misleading these people."
He was an evil man and it was evident arguments would be useless. The listeners were staring at me, and I was embarrassed. I was a young preacher just over twenty years of age, very inexperienced and perhaps overconfident. My response may not have been wise when I said: "I dare you in Christ's Name to repeat that statement. If you do, I will never preach again." I was foolish, but was constrained to issue my own challenge. That man and I stared into each other's eyes, and suddenly he became restless. I prodded him with verbal jabs when he seemed reluctant to respond, and asked if he were scared; why did he not do as I requested? Then dramatically, he walked away. He had either lost his voice, or God had struck him dumb. I have never forgotten the events of that remarkable evening and might have been very embarrassed had not the kindness of God rescued His impetuous servant. That incident introduces this study concerning the silences of Christ.
Preserving His Future . . . Challenging
And he straitly charged them [the evil spirits] that they should not make him known. (Mark 3:12)
It may be important to recognize that John Mark, who was the emanuensis of Simon Peter, ...
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