Monday, April 22, 2013

Why Jesus Did Not Preach About Grace

You are reading his title and thinking, "What is he talking about? This guy is crazy!" But I invite you to look through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There is a word that you will never find coming from the lips of our Savior. That word is "grace." There is no doubt that rather than preach about it, He embodied it. In the first chapter of the gospel of John this is made plain, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, " and again, "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:14, 17).

But Jesus never preached about grace. Why? I think the Bible reveals the answers:

1. Grace could not be given as God designed it until Jesus was crucified. It was impossible for mankind to receive the fullness of God's grace until the plan of redemption was completely finished. But now, the grace of God has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11).

2. The hard-hearted Jews didn't need the grace message as much as they needed, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). Jesus continued what John the immerser had started. God was calling for the changing of hearts.

3. Jesus had come to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17). This included spending His teaching time explaining its true intent. The Jews had fumbled their resposibility in a miserable fashion. A good portion of Christ's preaching was spent in delivering the correct interpretation of the Mosaic system, which was not grace-centered.

4. Grace is what God does, not what we do. We are the subjects of the grace of God. Jesus was interested in helping mankind get their part right. That is why His teaching concentrated on love and obedience to God. It is through love for God, which leads to repentance and obedience, that grace is received. Christ came to extend grace through His blood, but he also came to help man learn how to obtain it.

Within the religious realm, the subject of grace is greatly mishandled today in our world. An honest and complete examination of the Bible will lead us to the understanding that no person could be saved, if not for the grace of God. And yet this grace teaches us how we are to live before the God who extended it (Titus 2:12).

Jesus did not preach about grace because He knew that He had it covered. His message, primarily, was, "Repent!" Because without genuine repentance, the grace of God is in vain.

"We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain." - 2 Corinthians 6:1

1 comment: