(2 Corinthians 2:14-3:5) – The sweet aroma of Christ.
One of my favorite things about Paul’s writings is how he utilizes vivid Old Testament imagery to communicate some of his points.
This particular passage harkens back to the times of the Kings. It was customary, after victory in war or at the inauguration of a new king, to anoint the king’s head with oil as he was paraded through the streets for all people to see.
The smell was the smell of royalty. Even while walking though parts of the city that may be less-than-stellar, the entire atmosphere would be consumed with the frangrance of the king. Everyone knew who was in their presence because of the smell.
And if you loved the king, that smell brought life to you. The fact that the king was near you would be exhilarating. For others though, that smell brought death. If you hated the king, his presence was not something you were excited about.
Paul’s point is that wherever we go, we are always being lead by the King of the universe, and His royal frangrance is carried around the world through us. When people are around us, it should remind them of Jesus.
Think about it, if you’d seen the king at the parade and recognized the smell, but came to see that the person carrying the smell wasn’t the king at all, you’d know at the very least that they’d been around the king.
For some, the reminder of Christ and His Kingship through us brings life, and for others, they are agitated at the thought of Him.
Regardless of what others think, we are always being led in triumph.
And this ministry that we’ve received is not something that we deserve. It’s all grace.
Paul mentions that he doesn’t need commendation letters to prove that he’s from God, the very presence of this church he’s writing to and the changed lives therein are itself the letter of commendation.
The proof is in the pudding!
We serve God out of a place of personal inadequacy, meaning that we can’t do what He’s called us to do on our own. BUT, we do not serve Him out of a place of TOTAL inadequacy.
Because of God’s grace, we have what we need to be faithful servants of His, to make an impact on the world, to help people taste and see that the Lord is good!