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Mid-Week with Christ
February 5, 2020

Just the Facts, Ma'am

1 Corinthians 2:1-12

 
1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 
 

Prayer for the Day


Father, sanctify us in your truth. Your Word, Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Savior, is Truth. Amen.

One of the most popular early television dramas was the 1950s show "Dragnet." It started as a radio drama, moved to TV, was made into two movies and was reborn in the 1980s. The show starred Jack Webb as intrepid police Sergeant Joe Friday. When confronted with an informant who would get emotionally involved in her retelling of events, he would remind her that "all we want are the facts, ma'am." How she felt, or wanted Sergeant Friday to feel, was irrelevant. 

If you ask some Christians what they look for in a good preacher their answer is sometimes "passion and charisma." We want a good speaker, someone who grabs our attention, who keeps us emotionally involved in his words. We like the clever turn of phrase - "the greatest risk is to risk nothing", the memorable line - "I have a dream!", the words that would look great on a Facebook update. We want, in short, "plausible words of wisdom." 

Paul knew that the Corinthians, even though they lived millennia before twitter, loved their wisdom teachers. So he resolved not to be the passionate preacher but one who proclaimed the passion of Christ. He preached a Jesus who lived a perfect life before his God and in service to his neighbor, who died for us on a cross, and rose again from the dead. No matter if the preaching wasn't with "lofty speech or wisdom." The message, not the messenger, was what mattered. All Paul needed to share was "just the facts." 
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