Many of us have red-letter Bibles where the words of Jesus are in red. Yet, is it not common evangelical practice that the words of Paul in the epistles are valued more than the words of Jesus in the Gospel? Are not the discourses, precepts, miracles, parables, and humble service and sufferings of Jesus given too little consideration? Even during the observance of the Lord's Supper when we ought to remembering the Lord Jesus and his sufferings, are not the epistles often read instead?The words of Jesus are demanding. Jesus makes salvation to be more difficult than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24). Jesus disappointed and turned away a rich young ruler who came to Him asking how to inherit eternal life (Matt 19:16-22). Jesus taught in difficult parables and warned about seeds in various soils that begin to grow but then wither and die (Matt 13:3-23). Jesus warned that few are chosen (Matt 22:14)and that few will find the path that leads to eternal life (Matt 7:14).Many have minimized that value of the Old Testament although the Old Testament is quoted hundreds of times in the Testament. Have not many minimized the value of the words of Jesus that happened before the cross? Have men not devised theologies that minimize the worth of large portions of the Word of God?The Bible is one Book with one Lord, one faith, and one baptism and one redemptive story from Creation to Eternity. Some Words of Jesus are invitational and comforting but some of His Words give a challenge and a warning. Ought we not to heed them all?
The whole of Christ's life was a continualteaching: His silences, His gestures, Hisprayers, His miracles, His love for the children,His special devotion to the meek and the poor;His acceptance of the total sacrifice on thecross for the redemption of mankind, and Hisresurrection are the actualization of the LivingWord and the fulfillment of the Revelation. JOHN PAUL II
_________________Martin G. Smith