The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Psalms 19:7
According to the story, and I pray it is not a true story, the young man was selected to be a missionary to a foreign land. After his arrival, the beloved senior man he was replacing was to teach him the native's language.
The candidate was pleased at the opportunity to serve, and he was touched by the large and enthusiastic crowd that greeted his arrival. Wishing to express his appreciation and eager to set the tone for his time amongst them, he asked if the senior man would translate a few remarks for the listeners. The old missionary readily agreed.
The young man's speech went this way: "Citizens of Africa, mortals who traverse this passing plain, you must be cognizant of the infinite and cosmological character of the eternal message of the Messiah that I bring to you. He is the Word incarnate, born in Bethlehem and crucified upon Golgotha's summit for your redemption."
As I said, the old pastor had to translate to the people, and he did not hesitate. This is what he said: "Dear friends, the young pastor says that Jesus loves you, and he is sure glad to be here."
That senior minister knew that the story of God's love, while beyond our ability to totally understand, is a miracle of simplicity.
The angel who announced Jesus' birth understood that fact when he said, "A Savior has been born for you" (see Luke 2:11).
Peter understood the simple Gospel message when, on Pentecost, he preached, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (see Acts 2:38).
At His ascension Jesus understood it when He instructed His disciples to "Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (see Mark 16:15-16).
The world denies those words; scholars debate them, and skeptics struggle against them. But to those who hear with ears of faith, those simple sentences signal a revelation of redemption.
God's Son has come down from heaven's high throne. God's Son has become one of us, bringing words that are wondrous in their simplicity. We cannot improve upon them; we dare not change them.
All we can do is stand in awe of them and the love which stands behind them. All we can do is believe that our Lord -- beyond any human explanation --
cares for us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the story of the Savior is a simple one. May I gladly share it with others who have been confused and confounded by the complicated lies of Satan. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries