“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…” (2 Timothy 2:8).
This week as I was meditating on Paul’s declaration of Jesus as the gospel, I received the following quotation from John Stott. Without a doubt, the gospel is a story of love.
May the gospel shape our lives and our churches.
Enjoy the words from Stott!
“Jesus renounced the joys of heaven for the sorrows of earth, exchanging an eternal immunity to the approach of sin for painful contact with evil in this world. He was born of a lowly Hebrew mother in a dirty stable in the insignificant village of Bethlehem. He became a refugee baby in Egypt. He was brought up in the obscure hamlet of Nazareth, and toiled at a carpenter’s bench to support his mother and the other children in their home. In due time he became an itinerant preacher, with few possessions, small comforts and no home. He made friends with simple fishermen and publicans. He touched lepers and allowed harlots to touch him. He gave himself away in a ministry of healing, helping, teaching and preaching. He was misunderstood and misrepresented, and became the victim of men’s prejudices and vested interests. He was despised and rejected by his own people, and deserted by his own friends. He gave his back to be flogged, his face to be spat upon, his head to be crowned with thorns, his hands and feet to be nailed to a common Roman gallows. And as the cruel spikes were driven home, he kept praying for his tormentors, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ Such a man is altogether beyond our reach. He succeeded just where we invariably fail. He had complete self-mastery. He never retaliated. He never grew resentful or irritable. He had such control of himself that, whatever men might think or say or do, he would deny himself and abandon himself to the will of God and the welfare of mankind. ‘I seek not my own will’, he said, and ‘I do not seek my own glory’. As Paul wrote, ‘For Christ did not please himself.’ This utter disregard of self in the service of God and man is what the Bible calls love.”
–From “Basic Christianity” by John Stott (rev. edn. London: IVP, 1971), p. 44.