February 6

1 Corinthians 2:1-4

“When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” vss. 1-2

For Paul, the whole gospel revolves around Jesus Christ–beyond that central focus, everything else he expounds on in his letters is commentary. He really didn’t have to say anything else. Many among us like this emphasis. We’ve gotten used to identifying ourselves as followers of Jesus and not as members of a particular denomination. “Jesus only” is our theme and “What would Jesus do” is our guide for daily living. Of course there’s a danger in that kind of thinking. The historical figure of Jesus can be manipulated to be a kind of projection of our own dreams and convictions. In other words, we create our Jesus in our own image! That’s why it’s important for us to take a longer look at what Paul says. For him it was never Jesus only, it was “Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Unless our Jesus is the Christ of God, and hanging on the cross, the center of our gospel is going to be distorted. Without that focus our Jesus can lapse into a kind of superman, a hero figure who bears little resemblance to the humble Spirit-filled Galilean who suffered and died. Jesus is not a superman–he is an ordinary human in whom the Christ was incarnate, and by his death and resurrection the entire universe is restored. It’s a simple message–and a profound mystery. 

Thought for the Day: What difference does it make to say that Jesus is the Christ?

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