The Gospel of Jesus Christ: Scandalous

“This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against and so reveal their secret thoughts…”
(Luke 2:34-35)

One of the attributes of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is scandalous. Why? It says, that, ‘the secret thoughts of many will what? Will be revealed, will be exposed’. “Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up.” (John 3:20) Therefore, “..people whose evil ways prevent the truth from being known.” (Romans 1:18b) That’s why it says, ‘people will speak against” [Jesus], they mocked, ridiculed and to the point ‘they meant to throw him over the cliff’ (Luke 4:29) Even the apostles, disciples and historical believers experienced great persecution because of the scandal of the message of the Gospel. The apostle Paul says that the message of the Christ crucified is, “offensive and nonsense” (1 Corinthians 1:23)

We read that, this child [Jesus] is chosen.. chosen by God for what? For the message about Christ’s death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; this is what it meant, “The destruction of many.. but for us who [those] are being saved; this is what it meant, “the salvation of many.. who are being saved it is God’s power. (1 Corinthians 1:18) apostle Paul says, “..it is God’s power to save all who believe..” (Romans 1:16)

Now, if the Gospel you are preaching ceases to offend men? When you remove the scandal, you also remove the power of God. You are not preaching the true Gospel at all.

The Way of the Master

Master, we know that thou art true. This is the righteousness which they counterfeit, when they offer humble subjection to Christ, as if they were desirous to learn, and as if they not only had some relish for piety, but also were fully convinced of his doctrine; for if what they said had been from the heart, this would have been true uprightness. And therefore from their words we may obtain a definition of a good and faithful teacher, such as they pretended to believe Christ to be. They say that he is true, and teaches the way of God; that is, he is a faithful interpreter of God, and that he teaches it in truth; that is, without any corruption. The way of God is contrasted with the inventions of men, and with all foreign doctrines; and truth is contrasted with ambition, covetousness, and other wicked dispositions, which usually corrupt the purity of instruction. So then he ought to be reckoned a true teacher, who does not introduce the contrivances of men, or depart from the pure word of God, but gives out, as it were, with his hands what he has learned from the mouth of God, and who, from a sincere desire of edification, accommodates his doctrine to the advantage and salvation of the people, and does not debase it by any disguise. As to this latter clause, when Paul asserts that he does not make merchandise of the word of God, “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:17) he means that there are some persons who use dexterity, and do not openly overturn sound doctrine, or incur the disgrace of holding wicked opinions, but who disguise and corrupt the purity of doctrine, because they are ambitious, or covetous, or easily turned in various directions according to their earnest desire. He therefore compares them to jockeys, (kupelleuontes,) because they deprive the pure use of the word of God.

For thou regardest not the person of men. It is also worthy of attention, that those hypocrites likewise add, that Christ teaches rightly, because he has no regard for the person of men. Nothing has a more powerful tendency to withdraw teachers from a faithful and upright dispensation of the word than to pay respect to men; for it is impossible that anyone who desires to please men “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) should truly devote himself to God. Some attention, no doubt, is due to men, but not so as to obtain their favor by flattery. In short, in order to walk uprightly, we must necessarily put away respect of persons, which obscures the light and perverts right judgment, as God frequently inculcates in the Law,  “And I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him.” (Deuteronomy 1:16), You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous” (Deuteronomy 16:19) and as experience also points out. Thus Christ “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24) contrasts acceptance of persons (prosopolepsian) and sound judgment as things totally different.

“And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God….” (Mark 12:14)