Paul’s summarises the Old Testament story from a Jewish-Christian perspective as a world looking for a saviour. Then John showed that still “today” not just in ancient times people are looking for a saviour. Jesus not only died, but rose, and this is the keeping of God’s ancient promises. In Jesus God fills out, fully, the hopes and promises of the past. In Jesus, we are set free from sin – sin is not a trendy term today, but we still suffer from living in a world that is wrong. The advert reminds us that while we sream of how things would be “in a perfect world” we don’t live in a perfect world! That’s what sin is, our share in the brokenness of the world, and Jesus begins to put it right starting with us!
Why was the message not popular? Because salvation becomes something we can not earn. Because God does not only choose good people (like us) to heal. Because it reduces the chance to make money out of human need.
Despite reminding us of the signs and clues to God’s power and love in the everyday gifts of food and sunshine Paul’s gospel is not all sunshine. He was no more a prosperity gospel televangelist than Jesus was!
Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith, they said: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
This is encouragement!