2 Corinthians 5:16-19 (KJV)
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Huh what? I’m not a bible scholar, not of fan of Olde English either. I do enjoy the word of God immensely – the wisdom, knowledge, love, insight, direction, truth, honesty, forthrightness, compassion, sacrifice, love, love, love, history, right, wrong, and more. Sometimes I don’t get what it’s saying and I have to go to far smarter people and greater scholars than I to understand what something means through different translations, commentaries and study guides. The passage above might seem pretty tame, maybe even innocuous, until you tear into it.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (MSG)
16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
Eugene Peterson did us all a great favor by translating the bible into its meaning, not the words. Greek has 17 words for love, all meaning something different. English has one. There’s a lot to be lost in translation in direct translation.
Look at the words of God for the people of God:
We don’t evaluate people by what the have or how they look, we look on the inside.
When we are united with God, we’re new on the inside; a new life burgeons! Look at it!
God has settled our relationship with him, not us actually (in spite of us), by forgiving our sins.
We’ve been tasked now with telling everyone the news, the new way, the new reality.
Friendship, love, tolerance, right, wrong, love, peace, service. Be Christlike.
Below is one of my two life verses. It’s not like my old life by any stretch – it’s a 180 from who I was. Christ does that when you let him. Yes, a lot of what we read about him isn’t clear at first until it’s properly translated for us, until we learn what He wants us to learn.
Micah 6:8 (NIV) He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (MSG) But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.
Huh what? Oh!
Luke 13:18-19 (NIV)
18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”
Luke 13:18-19 (MSG)
18-19 Then he said, “How can I picture God’s kingdom for you? What kind of story can I use? It’s like a pine nut that a man plants in his front yard. It grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches, and eagles build nests in it.”