COLLINS COLUMN: In complicated world, Jesus offers simple message
Published 9:30 am Saturday, April 9, 2022
By Dean Collins
President of Point University
It seems like a no-brainer when you look at it. So why do we resist this simplicity? No, I am not trying to sell you some product that will make you look younger, lose weight, grow your retirement funds, or brighten your smile. Every day we are bombarded with marketing messages that suggest that what we are being offered is so wonderful we just can’t say no. The plausibility of the marketing pitches is intended to make our decisions easy. Marketers spend lots of time considering just the right words to sell us their products.
When trying to decide what to buy, who to follow, how to speak on behalf of a cause, or which politician to believe, we want to hear not just well-positioned arguments. We want to hear truth. It’s important that we not quickly give in to lofty speeches filled with worldly wisdom. Perfect grammar, clear and understandable sentences, and well-thought-out ideas are good but not good enough when it comes to things that are truly eternal.
As Paul addressed the church in Corinth he made sure they remembered that the power of the gospel is not just about good apologetic defense, lofty speech, or the wisdom of men. If we want to see the power of God in action around us, then we must resist trying to outsmart God and simply surrender to what will be considered foolish in the minds of some, yet good news for all who believe. Paul’s words: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
Paul goes on to explain that his message was not based on anything the latest philosophers, scholars, or politicians wrote about. His message, his foundation for life and ministry, was to impart the secret and previously hidden wisdom of God that God decreed long before Paul’s moment in history and certainly before ours. There are always people with wonderful degrees and titles, academics and scholars advocating a new approach, a new understanding, a new way to live and move forward. This is natural, because God planted his creative nature in us all. But we must resist thinking that new is always better. A lot of new tech has brought simplicity to our lives. But with it has come much distraction and sadly an ever-increasing amount of misinformation about virtually everything.
Simple good news
As followers of Jesus, we would do well to resist trying to make Jesus look or sound better. His gospel is filled with simplicity. Christ died for our sins. We are forgiven not because of anything we do but by his grace and mercy. Paul continued his simple message telling us that no one before had seen, heard, or could imagine what God has prepared for us. This is still true today. With our amazing abilities to make forward progress on earth, we can easily fall to the temptation of trying to move beyond God. You may not see it at first, but everyone who believes they move beyond God ultimately ends up on a dead-end street.
However, lives surrendered to the simplicity of the gospel can and will be filled with the Holy Spirit who mines the depth of God’s wisdom that he desires to give us when we decide simply to listen and obey.
As we move to Holy Week, I pray we will daily surrender to the simple message of Jesus and him crucified. There we will find forgiveness. There we will see and experience the wisdom of God. There we will dwell in the richness of God’s love and grace.