Where’s Jesus?

I was asked once if preaching the grace of Christ week after week will get old.

Well, Jesus said in Luke 24 that all of scripture is about Him [1], so I think it’s best to keep Him front and centre. If those of us who stand in pulpits are concerned about “Jesus fatigue” and keep Jesus in the background in favour of putting applicational teaching in the foreground, we’ve missed the greater point in the text. The same is true around the dinner table. Our desire is to raise our children to enjoy and glorify God, and this means showing them the Person of scripture to behold, not simply giving them principles on how to behave.

By showing our churches and our children how the Scriptures point to the grace of Christ, we aren’t downplaying biblical application, we’re giving them the very thing that engenders their hearts to desire it.

The gospel of God’s grace in Christ is both the entrance to faith and the power by which we walk it out. The Christian faith is not self generated by applying principles, it is empowered by a Person. So we preach (point to) Him.

Whether in our pulpits or around our dinner tables, we don’t assume the Person of scripture and relegate Him to the background, hidden behind the precepts of scripture. That leaves our churches and our children to look for the grace of Jesus in our sermons or our table talks like they’re looking for Waldo. After a while, it gets pretty hard on the eyes (soul). As our love for the Person of the Scripture increases, our desire for His precepts in Scripture increases.

John Calvin, writing in the preface to Pierre-Robert Olivétan’s 1535 translation of the New Testament gave a great encouragement for the reader to recognize that the Scriptures are not primarily about our life, but Christ’s. Our guilt was met by His grace, which propels our gratitude:

“He [Christ] is Isaac, the beloved Son of the Father who was offered as a sacrifice, but nevertheless did not succumb to the power of death.

He is Jacob the watchful shepherd, who has such great care for the sheep which He guards.

He is the good and compassionate brother Joseph, who in His glory was not ashamed to acknowledge His brothers, however lowly and abject their condition.

He is the great sacrificer and bishop Melchizedek, who has offered an eternal sacrifice once for all.

He is the sovereign lawgiver Moses, writing His law on the tables of our hearts by His Spirit.

He is the faithful captain and guide Joshua, to lead us to the Promised Land.

He is the victorious and noble king David, bringing by his hand all rebellious power to subjection.

He is the magnificent and triumphant king Solomon, governing His kingdom in peace and prosperity.

He is the strong and powerful Samson, who by His death has overwhelmed all His enemies.

This is what we should, in short, seek in the whole of Scripture: truly to know Jesus Christ, and the infinite riches that are comprised in him and are offered to us by Him from God the Father. If one were to sift thoroughly the Law and the Prophets, they would not find a single word which would not draw and bring us to Him. . . . Therefore, rightly does Saint Paul say in another passage that he would know nothing except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

~ John Calvin

[1] Luke 25: 27, 44-46
Calvin’s preface originally Posted by the Gospel Coalition, 2013

One Comment on “Where’s Jesus?

  1. Pingback: Links I Like, Vol. 52

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