I Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom, for I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
The Message You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I did not try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple first Jesus and Who He is, then Jesus and what He did – Jesus crucified.
Isn't it amazing how when we are discussing God, religion, salvation, and the Scripture how quickly these "discussion" morph into long, lofty, complicated theological contests? We strive to be convincing orators, powerful preachers, masters of words and phrases. We trip each other up with our craftiness in arguments, persuasive speeches, and manipulative ways.
But, if I am sitting down with a person who is hurting, searching for answers to the pain and hopelessness in their life – what is going to finally “win” them to Christ? Lofty speeches? Mastery of words? Convincing facts and details? Probably not. It will be a simple sharing of first – Who Jesus is – and what He did for me. A theological mastermind can easily argue with my facts and statistics. But they cannot argue with my testimony of how God has redeemed my life. My story is my story.
This makes me think about Pastor’s sermons. I am married to the Pastor. I have heard a lot of his sermons. In fact, I have heard almost ALL of them! While it is true that I have often been impressed with his theological explanations, impressive research, historical background and amazing teachings – that is NOT what I remember most. No. The times I have been moved to tears, or when God has “won my heart all over again” - were the moments when the simple message of Jesus - Who He is, and what He has done - was preached plain and simple, raw and real, with much "weakness, fear, and trembling" by the messenger.
This also reminds me of the story about the blind man in John 9 who was healed by Jesus. The leaders brought him in for questioning. They argued about why he was born blind – if it was his fault or his parents. Finally, the healed man had enough and said, “Look. I don’t know about all of that. All I know is – I was blind. Now I see.” Simple. Stop the lofty speeches and endless questioning. “I was blind. Now I see.”
Today's Scripture from I Corinthians is comforting, and confidence-boosting for me. Sharing with others about Jesus – Who He is, and what He did – doesn’t have to be scary. I don’t have to come up with lofty, polished speeches. I don’t have to know Greek and Hebrew. I don’t have to know maps and geography. I don’t have to be trained at a seminary. I can simply share the Hope I have in Jesus Christ. I can simply share Who He is. What He has done. I was blind. Now I see. Plain. Simple. I don’t have to impress anyone. Let them be impressed by Jesus. All I gotta’ do is Tell.