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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

“Jesus’ Touch”

II Cor. 4:1-6

The apostle Paul faced opposition throughout his ministry. There were those who ridiculed him (II Cor. 10:10). Paul had to contend with the Christian Pharisees who had finally corrupted the gospel with their legalism (Gal. 1-4, Phil, 3:1-11; Eph. 2:1-10).  In addition, (or perhaps an off shoot of the same group) were the “super-apostles” who claimed to be more spiritual than Paul (II Cor. 11:5).  Paul’s opponents were prepared to either kill him or accuse him of things that could lead to his death (Acts 9:23; 21:27-28; 23:12).

In addition, Paul was concerned about the moral laxity in Corinth (I Cor. 6:9-20). There were those who rejected his message. Paul speaks of his gospel being hid to those who are perishing.  These are those who worship “the god of this world.” That “god” can and does take many forms from pleasure to wealth to privilege to domination to injustice.

Yet Paul does not lose heart. Everything depends on God’s mercy. Paul refuses to practice deceit.  His message is an “open statement of the truth.” Paul emphasizes the fact that this is not a matter of himself and how he is perceived.  The issue here is the gospel, the good news, of Jesus Christ. Those who are blind to the gospel have chosen to be blind.

Paul refers to the Mountain of Transfiguration where the full light of God shone through the face of Jesus Christ God is the author of light, the first thing mentioned in creation, before there was a sun, moon or stars (Gen. 1).  The light of Jesus Christ shines in the darkness and the darkness can never overcome it (John 1:5).  Paul then rejoices in the fact that God has shown the light of Jesus Christ into our hearts.  We can depend on that light.  When we, like Paul, face rejection we need to remember that God’s work is not done yet.  Jesus is the light which enlightens every person (John 1:9).

Faithful and loving God I praise you that you have sent the light of Jesus Christ into my life.  Give me the grace to share that light with others.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.