Have you ever complicated things? Made it more difficult than it really needed to be? Like taking the long route to your destination or giving a long explanation when a quick answer was wanted. (I do that to my husband all the time.) We want to know all the answers before jumping in to something, feeling like all our questions must have logical explanations. Then you come to the harsh reality that not everything is simple. Sometimes, you just have to take things in faith.
More times than not, we complicate the gospel more than it needs to be. We need to understand the trinity, creation, virgin birth, or the end times before we’ll commit or admit that there really is a God. Study any of those things and a logical, understandable explanation will not be found. It’s not that there is no answer to the questions, it’s that we’re asking the wrong questions. The truth is that the gospel is simple.
Recently, our pastor’s sermon was based on John 9:1-41. From it, we can see how simple the message of the gospel is.
First, the gospel has a simple purpose.
John is telling the story of Jesus healing a man who’d been blind since birth. As was tradition of the time, the disciples questioned Jesus as to whether it was because his parent’s sin or his own. Jesus answered, “This man was born blind so that God’s power could be shown in him.” (NCV, v.3) Sometimes, it seems that no matter what we do bad things keep happening to us. It has nothing to do with consequences of our choices. It’s just bad, like we’re being punished for nothing. Circumstances are not always meant to punish, but to bring God glory. How we react to the circumstances and where we turn first shows where our strength lies. Just like the healing of the blind man, the purpose of our lives is meant to bring God glory.
The gospel also uses simple tools.
In verse 6 – 7, “…he spit on the ground and made some mud on the man’s eyes. Then he told the man, “Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam.”” Jesus could have just spoken and the man would have been able to see. Instead, he used spit and dirt. It required submission. Dirt in the hands of God is awesome. He made it into mud to put on the man’s eyes. The blind man had to submit by allowing this to be done and take action by going to the pool to wash.
He was sent to the pool whose name translates ‘Sent.’ Jesus didn’t guide him there. For the miracle to happen, he had to be willing to obey and go. Jesus used something simple to show His power. For us, it only takes simple tools to share the gospel. Our tools are God’s Word and a willing heart.
Sharing the gospel can be done through a simple witness.
Imagine being able to see for the first time. It would be overwhelming to see all the colors, faces and things take shape. Hiding it would be out of the question. Going back through town, he was taking in the wonderful sights and telling everyone he knew. Yet, the people still doubted. When questioned, he just told them his story. No fancy words. No long explanations. He simply answered, “I don’t know if he’s a sinner. One thing I do know: I was blind, now I see.” (NCV, v. 25) Too many times, we think that there’s no way someone will listen because we’re not eloquent enough. All we really need to do is share our story. A simple witness for what Christ has done in our lives.
Finally, the gospel is a simple trust in a simple truth.
At this point, the former blind man had never seen Jesus, but Jesus knew him. Jesus met him and asked “Do you believe in the Son of God?” (NCV, v.35) Once he realized who Jesus was, he said, “Lord, I believe.” (NCV, v.38) When Jesus meets with us, that’s all he asks is that we believe. We may not know Him, but He knows us. He seeks us out so that He may have a relationship with us. We just need to simply trust that He is the Truth.
No matter whether we’ve been a Christian for a long time, are a new one, or still searching, God loves us and desires us to know Him. He meets us right where we are and asks, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” It’s our choice. By choosing to trust the simple Truth, others will be asking what happened to us. Following the blind man’s example, we can say, “I was blind, but now I see.”