Gospel Language

Gospel languageIn the Fall 2016 Concordia Journal, Professor Jeff Gibbs talks about the Gospel language that Matthew uses to share the news that Christ has come to save us through his death and resurrection.

In Matthew the good news of Christ is presented in the Gospel language of living under the reign of God.  For instance in Matthew 5:3, Matthew records Jesus saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Gibbs points out that if Paul had written that verse, he would have said, “Redeemed are those who are enslaved, for Christ has set them free.” Paul’s gospel language is about freedom from slavery.

If John would have written it, it would have said, “Enlightened are those who were in darkness, for Christ is the light of the world,” because John’s Gospel language is light and darkness.

I find the idea of different Gospel languages interesting because I have found that people often have a favorite type of Gospel language that they are drawn to. For instance, my adopted grandma, Mrs. Graber, always liked Good Shepherd Sunday and loved the hymn, “Children of the Heavenly Father.” Her preferred Gospel language was about being safe and secure in the lovingly arms of a Shepherd or a father.

It might be a good practice for each of us to evaluate what Gospel language has the most meaning and resonance for us personally, and then it is good for us to consider what Gospel language might have the most significance to a friend or family member or someone we are witnessing to.

The sure message of the Gospel is always the same (We are saved from sin, death and the devil by Christ alone), but understanding what way to share the Gospel message to a certain person can be just as important as conveying the Gospel message itself. Something to think about the next time you are talking to someone about Jesus.

 

 

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