Sunday, 3 August 2014

Say Something Inexpressible

It is unlikely that we would classify Paul as a person who would ever be lost for words. Yet in 2 Corinthians 9:15 he writes, ‘Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift,’ which is a reference to Jesus.

Paul describes this divine Gift as inexpressible, as impossible to fully explain. Sometimes it is difficult to describe a thing because it is too small; others cannot be described because they are too large. With regard to Jesus, he is inexpressible because he is too big. This has not stopped some people trying to reduce him in size: such speak of him as a great teacher or a willing martyr for a good cause. It would not be impossible to describe such a person; in fact, many such biographies have been written of important people. But you cannot get a biography of Jesus because as John says in John 21:25: ‘Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.’ (The four Gospels are not biographies of Jesus but explanations of his mission.)

The fact that the Gift is inexpressible does not mean that people should not speak about it. Paul, the man who wrote this verse, often speaks eloquently of Jesus and what happened to him. An example of Paul’s words are Philippians 2:5-11. Despite his great mind and vast understanding, Paul knew he was only paddling at the shore of an infinite ocean. Others in the Bible also give great descriptions of Jesus Christ.

Throughout the centuries, many great minds have written and spoken about Jesus Christ. Theologians and preachers have endeavoured to explain who he is and what he has done, and despite the vast number of words that have been said or written, they have not fully described him. To them we can add the estimation of the heavenly host who have had access to him in heaven since they were created. They know a great deal about him that is not contained in the Bible, yet when their contribution is added to that of the theologians and preachers, we are still on the edge of the ocean.

To the contribution of the above, we can add all the thoughts of the redeemed. Some have expressed themselves in poetry, all of them say something about Jesus in prayer or in words of testimony. Yet when this combined description of Jesus is added up, he is still inexpressible, not all has been said about him that can or will be said.

As we think of the fact that more can be said about Jesus, it means that there is space for us to say something about him today. There is always space for a new and accurate comment about Jesus. Your actual words may not be different from what others have said, but your experience of Jesus will be totally unique. So say something about him today, perhaps to encourage or comfort a friend or perhaps to commend him to someone who does not know him yet.

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