“By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: / He who was revealed in the flesh, / Was vindicated in the Spirit, / Seen by angels, / Proclaimed among the nations, / Believed on in the world, / Taken up to glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
This concise, one-verse summary of the greatness of Jesus Christ is obviously not the complete picture revealed in more detail in the New Testament, but what it does say should be enough to fill us with wonder.
A life-changing message
Consider who wrote this. At one time he did not believe a word of it. More than that, he violently opposed those who did believe it.
But all that changed suddenly and dramatically when the glorified Christ appeared to His arch-enemy Saul as he was on his way to arrest more Christians.
Three days later he was baptized, and soon the gospel’s greatest adversary became its greatest advocate.
We know him today as the apostle Paul. For the next thirty or so years he “Proclaimed [Him] among the nations” so that He could be “Believed on in the world.”
Like no other
From Jesus’ birth (“revealed in the flesh”) to His ascension (“Taken up to glory”)—in those 33 years Jesus made far more impact on our world than anyone else who ever lived before or since. This impact continues to our day.
That’s because of who He is and what He did.
If you doubt that, I challenge you to read the Gospel of Luke and then its sequel, the Book of Acts.
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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/