Home > Articles > Exhortation and Consolation

A Message Both Old and New

We are blessed to proclaim the good news of eternal life.
Read Time: 5 minutes

One of the greatest influencers ever to walk the earth was not peddling merchandise to customers for a monetary profit. This teacher was preaching the gospel message concerning the Kingdom on earth. It was the Lord Jesus Christ!

 In Matthew 10, Jesus sent his apostles to do the work of preaching. What equipment did they have? No pencils, clipboards, or laptops. What Jesus gave them was the power to cast out unclean spirits; he gave them the power to heal the sick and cure people of their diseases. 

How do organizations today convince their potential customers that the product being sold will benefit them? Some big corporations pay large sums to advertise their products on television or in magazines, they debate strategies to create awareness.

In a hospital setting, for example, the sales rep would demonstrate how their product can be useful to the medical staff. From working in the emergency room, I know the pitch for new products is often that they would be beneficial for both the staff and the patient since one of the goals of hospitals is patient safety. How would they get people interested in what they have to offer?

The apostles had a specific charge, and that was to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (v. 6).  Their main message was “the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (v. 7). This message needed to be heard. By Jesus telling the apostles to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he was indeed fulfilling his parable by being the good shepherd searching for the lost sheep of Israel. He includes all of Israel in this, and this seems to be the last call to repentance of the people of God, after having had generation after generation of prophets urging them to repent and turn back to him. 

As we read the instructions to the disciples, there is something to consider. 

As you go, proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.” (Matt 10:7-10).1

So they were to leave all food, money, and extra clothing behind.  Jesus told them that “the worker is worth his keep.” But who were they working for, and who would provide the wages? Is Jesus reminding them that if they work for their heavenly Father, they will be looked after by Him? Remember the Sermon on the Mount?

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:31-34).

This saying could be an exhortation for us, too, if we are trying to do God’s will in our lives. He will indeed take care of all the necessary things for us. The prophet Elisha was given lodging as he was on his journey, and food was provided for the Apostle Paul during his missionary work. It requires us to trust that God will provide. Jesus reminds his apostles their mission was to “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:33).

The message of Jeremiah is closely related to what Jesus was telling the multitudes. It was a call for people to repent and turn back to God. His people persecuted Jeremiah for his bold proclamation of the unwelcome truth about the impending captivity. Jeremiah, quite like Jesus, never lost compassion for the people but kept warning them and praying they would be spared of the impending judgment. This message is exactly what Jesus told the apostles to preach about. 

Jeremiah described aspects of Jerusalem’s impending destruction. It would be a natural reaction to flee from the obvious doom coming to the city.  Jeremiah masterfully used this disaster to appeal to the children of Benjamin to escape from Jerusalem.

Tekoa is mentioned here, a town about 10 miles south of Jerusalem. It was not the town itself that Jeremiah was concerned about, but probably the meaning of the word Tekoa. It meant “place of setting up a tent.” The message was that it was urgent to flee Jerusalem and set up tents in another place, a place out of danger from the invaders. 

This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.”’ (Jer 6:16).

The advice here is a real challenge to many of us, isn’t it? Most of us want to progress, not relapse. But the people in Jeremiah’s time said they would not walk in the good way. They did not want progress. They were insensitive to sin. We want to press on to new things, not fall back into the old. But do we feel that what has already been understood before us cannot be nearly or equally as important as what has yet to be revealed? We will discover a certain similarity to the idea of the old versus the new. It was the parable of cloth and bottles.

No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.  Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. (Matt 9:16-17).

When we stop and consider this momentarily, we soon realize that what Jesus taught in the four gospels was wholly based on the Old Testament. He drew his teachings from the principles laid down years before. What Jesus did was renew the principles by coming back to the basics. Presented in a new, fresh, and vibrant way, he demonstrated how to live these principles himself. 

We are trying to proclaim the Truth to anyone who will listen. We are preachers of the gospel, but there is more to it than just speaking. When we are involved in any gospel proclamation, we must demonstrate our acceptance of Christ’s teachings in how we live. 

Our responsibility is to share this good news of the Kingdom, and when we teach our families, it should be in a way that is not supercritical of every denomination. People will not want to listen to us when we use that method of preaching. We do not even have to go out to preach; we can do it online, and preaching reaches non-Christadelphians and those in the Truth. It can be spiritually uplifting to read a Bible verse or provide a summary. 

We are to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20). We are blessed to proclaim the good news of eternal life. It is a message that is ancient, as well as one that is relevant today. We cannot keep it to ourselves. Jesus commanded the disciples to preach to people about the Kingdom because it is nearer than thought, and we all must be ready. 

Tim Drepaul
Brooklyn Ecclesia, NY


  1. All Scriptural citations are taken from the New International Version.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Suggested Readings
God can hear all of our prayers, all at once. no problem.
The vision in Revelation 21 is something we all look forward to, the time when there will be “a new heaven and a new earth” (v1) and when God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (v4).
View all events
Upcoming Events