A single point: The Message depends on messengers.
I believe in writers and books and other such forms of communication but very few people come to God in Jesus Christ apart from actual contact with an actual person or persons in whom the message is embodied. Certainly that’s how it was in the early days when faith in Jesus raced through Palestine and out into the regions beyond (see Acts 11:19-20). It’s true that it was the Message about Jesus that people gladly and often gallantly embraced, being baptized into his name, but the Message didn’t come to them in letters—it came to them in messengers, in actual people; it was a people-embodied Message.
A fine man with no gospel to tell is sub-Christian. A fine man with merely moral advice and right values is sub-Christian. The gospel that raced through Palestine wasn’t just a lot of nice people saying nice things, you understand; it was nice people with a Message about Jesus!
The ancient Jewish council members had moral values as real as Peter’s and they could quote the Old Testament texts as well as the Galileans, but it was when Peter and John stood up, proclaiming an astonishing Message about the recently crucified, but now very much alive, Jesus of Nazareth, that the fire broke outl There they stood, formerly fear-filled and now defying the Supreme Court of the Israelite people. Two months earlier the apostolic group had scattered to save their lives, and now they thanked God for the privilege of suffering for the name of Jesus and telling the distressed jurists (Acts 4:19-20), “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard!” --Tydings, Kemp church bulletin
- via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com