11 Jul 2018

Always the Messenger; Never the Message

by Alan Jefferies

Start by reading…

1 Chronicles 11:1 - 12:18 Acts 28:1-31 Psalm 9:1-12 Proverbs 19:1-3

Acts 28 ends in a strange way. Having been told that Paul has reached Rome, it doesn’t tell us the ultimate outcome. It simply tells us that:

“Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”

Some believe Paul died at the end of the two years, while others think he was released. Either way, it’s a reminder that he was a messenger but never the message. It was never about him. What did Paul talk about, live for and eventually die for? Things that “concern the Lord Jesus Christ”.

Paul ran the race well. Close to his death he wrote to a dear friend, Timothy, saying: “I have finished the race” (see 2 Timothy 4:7). To others he wrote: “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7). Only those who run well can finish well, and only those who understand they are always the messenger and never the message can run well.

We are called to show Christ in our lives. We are instructed to demonstrate His love through our behaviour. Yet we are never the message; always the messenger. The treasure we carry is the message of Jesus. As we journey with the lost, broken, disappointed and disillusioned, this is a timely reminder that it is the message of “the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ” that brings, freedom, comfort, hope and vision.

What will my friends, family and work colleagues be confronted with today: a message or a messenger?

Pause and reflect: Jesus, help me to remove the things in my mind, heart and behaviour that cause others to see the messenger and not the message. Amen.”

Alan Jefferies
Alan Jefferies

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