Christ is All That Matters

Joel Stephen Williams

A young man just starting out in ministry was visiting with an aged minister in London. The young man asked: "You have had a great deal of experience; you know many things that I ought to learn. Can you give me some advice to carry with me to my new duties?"

"Yes I can," was the response. "You know that in every town in England, no matter how small, in every village or hamlet, though it be hidden in the folds of the mountain or wrapped round by the far-off sea, in every clump of farmhouses, you can find a road which, if you follow it, will take you to London. In the same way every text which you choose to preach from in the Bible will have a road that leads to Jesus. Be sure you fmd that road, and follow it. Be careful not to miss it. This is my advice to you."

An old filmstrip Bible lesson from the 1960s surveyed the whole Bible under the theme: "Someone is coming. Someone has come. Someone is coming again." Of course that someone was Jesus Christ. Paul declared to the Corinthians: "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2). Christ is the one in whom "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell" (Col. 1:19). "In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col. 2:9). Thus Christ is and can be "all and in all" (Col. 3:11).

A little girl had a simple method of rating sermons and the preachers who delivered them. Her method was an oversimplification which did not take into account the complexity of Christian thought or the diversity of human needs. But if she erred, it was in the direction of a central truth. Her method of judging a sermon was to count the number of times a preacher mentioned Jesus. He is "all", which might be a hyperbole meaning "all that matters" (C.F.D. Moule, Cambridge Greek Testament), so the little girl's method had much to commend it.

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