7 March 2012

The News of the World!

Love it or hate it – you can’t deny that The News of the World has had a massive influence on British life. When it was first published back in 1843, it soon gained its reputation for following scandals, sex affairs and celebrities. And not much had changed until it was shut down last July as a result of the phone- hacking scandal. Some rejoiced at this news, but others wept. Where will we go now for our shock headlines? Well, don’t bother with The Sun on Sunday – why not give John’s Gospel a read? In this eye- witness account of Jesus’ life there are shocks and scandals aplenty! Here are just two examples to get you started.

CREATOR SNUBBED BY WORLD!

John’s eye-witness account begins with the great news that our God and Creator came into the world. He wants to know us! He wants us to know him! He cares about you! He came down as Jesus Christ – the Son of God. He should have received glory, gratitude and love – but look what happened instead:

“[Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.”(John 1:10)

Can you imagine it? The Creator was totally snubbed by his creation! He gave us everything we have – our life, our family, our stuff. And yet we want nothing to do with him! Why is that? Jesus once said that “the world hates me because I testify that what it does is evil” (John 7:7).

Jesus made us, and so he knows the best way for us to live. But by choosing to live our own way, we have messed up our lives. Jesus always lived perfectly and so reading about him we see our guilt, our failure, our evil. We like to think we are great and so it’s painful to realise we aren’t! So we wonder: does God still want to know me? Or am I destined to face God’s anger forever?

CREATOR DIES FOR WORLD THAT SNUBBED HIM!

What a shock! We might lay down our life for a loved one, but would you do it for someone who ignores and hates you? That’s exactly what Jesus did so that we might know God:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life” (John 3:16)

This is the real news of the world. We snubbed God. We deserve to face eternal death. But God loves the world! And he sent his Son to willingly die for the world that snubbed him. The offer of eternal life is now on the table. It’s not at all what we deserve – that’s the scandal of grace – God’s undeserved love for us. Please don’t snub such an amazing offer!

Andy Palmer