Around 1920, American author Ernest Hemingway’s colleagues made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. The friends wagered that Hemingway couldn’t write a story using only six words. Of course, he took the dare and they paid up. Incidentally, it’s believed that Hemingway considered it his best work:
“For sale: Baby shoes. Never used.”
After I read that snippet, fascinatingly, I started wondering. Am I able to condense Christ’s story to just six words? Hmmm. Let me see—God descended. God died. God lives. Well, that’s a feeble stab at it. Give it a try and maybe you can think of one better.
All challenges aside, there’s tremendous sorrow and hopelessness in Hemingway’s six words. Aren’t we ecstatic to know Christ-followers inherit a bright eternal future? “But our hopes are set on new heavens and a new earth which He has promised us” (2 Peter 3:13 JB Phillips) In addition, the Bible is full of seeming contradictions—the first are last, to save your life is to lose it, the meek inherit the earth, love your enemies, be thankful for persecution, strength comes from weakness etc., This Christian life exudes mysteries far beyond our comprehension but His grace is sufficient for every need “The man who tries to save his life will lose it; it is the man who loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s who will save it. What good can it do a man to gain the whole world at the price of his own soul? What can a man offer to buy back his soul once he has lost it?” (Mark 8:36 JB Phillips). By the way, Toby Mac (rap artist) recorded his rendition of Mark 8:36 in 2007. “I don’t wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul. Lord, what we gonna do? We’re relying on You. All eyes are on You. All eyes are on You, Lord.”
Thinking about favorite Bible verses brings John 3:16 to mind. It’s memorized by many people and one most often quoted. A very compelling thought to be sure, that God loves the whole world and not willing that any should perish. What’s more, we discover another (3:16) found in the New Testament written by Apostle Paul. To me, this scripture represents God’s perfect intention for humanity and speaks convincingly of incomparable ‘good news’. While journeying toward wholeness, perhaps we’ll decide to let God’s word and His promises simmer deep into our spirits.
“The One who appeared in human flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed in throughout the world,
Taken back to Heaven in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16 Phillips).