Jesus’ words in John 12 are sobering: unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it will bear little fruit. The history of Christianity’s expansion proves that God’s strategy for reaching unreached peoples with the gospel includes the sufferings of his frontline heralds—the missionaries who willingly die a thousand daily deaths to advance God’s kingdom.
Pastor John Piper’s addition to The Swans Are Not Silent series focuses on this flesh-and-blood reality in the lives of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton. The price they paid to translate the Word of God, to pave the way for missionary mobilization around the world, and to lead the hostile to Christ was great. Yet their stories show in triplicate how the gospel advances not only through the faithful proclamation of the truth but through representing the afflictions of Christ in our sufferings.