The Gospel is Offensive

communion-bread-and-cupThe Gospel is good news.  It is the power of God unto salvation.  It is the story of God with us.  As Christians, we believe all these wonderful things, and more, about the Good News of Jesus Christ.  But the vast majority of people will say “Thanks but no thanks,” and some will get defensive first and then angry.  For better or worse, hearing the good news offends people.

Jesus has a long conversation with some Jews that “had believed him” in John 8:31-59.   In verse 39, the Jews respond to Jesus that Abraham is their father.  In 41, they say that God is their only father.  Jesus’ final statement, “Before Abraham was I am,” is the Gospel.  Jesus is using language that only God would use (i.e. the burning bush), and seems to make a play on words with God’s name.  It was not only blasphemy to use God’s name this way, he is saying that in fact he is God; God with us.  That’s good news.  But on this occasion, it’s not good news for Jesus.  They were picking up stones with which to kill him as he escaped from their midst. Continue reading