Speak Their Language

Tim Savage

"Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them." (Mark 4:33-34)
This passage says that Jesus spoke to the masses in public differently than the way he taught His disciples in private. It clearly states that Jesus would speak to people in a way that they would understand best: He would speak their language, rather than expect them to speak His. As believers we want to reach the lost with God's message or love, acceptance and forgiveness, but often we do it by speaking a church language that many don't understand.

Just recently, in the Media class at Pacific Rim Christian College that I teach, I had one of my staff give the lesson. She did a fantastic job as she exuberantly explained the subject, but in her excitement she started using terms and concepts the students hadn't yet been taught, it was like she launched in to a foreign language! We had to slow her down, back up and explain what she was talking about so the students could get her point.

This is exactly what Jesus did when speaking publicly, He would explain things in a way that they could relate to and was relevant to them.
My life ministry centers on that - taking the concepts and beliefs we have as followers of Christ and presenting it to the lost in ways that are interesting, understandable and relevant to people who aren't ready for advanced version. For example, I think films like "The Blind Side" or "Bruce Almighty" speak the language of the people and share God in an entertaining, moving and relevant way. I love these movies, but often, we, as believers, as the church, as people of God speak in ways that don't make sense to the masses. We often judge others harshly, we fight among ourselves, are hypocritical, speak "church-ese", are not inclusive and yes, we even sometimes make movies that are "by Christians, for Christians." That last part was primarily for me, but I'm sure you get the point.

How do I react when things don't go my way? Am I a rabble-rouser or peacemaker? Do I show the love of Jesus or am I judgmental and standoffish? I must always strive to be more and more like Christ and today I am reminded to speak the language of the people that I interact with day-in and day-out.
Dear Heavenly Father,

Please grant me a double portion of the ability to translate Your Word to the people. Help me to be an example of Your light and Your love?

In Jesus name,


Devotions for February 25

Numbers 17,18
Psalms 29
Mark 4

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