“To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law . . . so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law . . . so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).
What does it look like when you become someone in order to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ to those who desperately need to hear and experience it?
One of the dangers we can fall into is thinking that the verbalization of the propositions about Jesus are the sum total of the good news He came to deliver.
When we fall into this trap, we reduce the message of Christ to its lowest common denominator and thus morph the epic redemptive story of God’s unfailing love expressed in Christ into a mathematical equation.
Is it possible that what Paul was trying to tell us in 1 Corinthians 9 is that when we present the gospel of Jesus to those we encounter, it’s incumbent upon us to contextualize the news and ourselves so that those who need to understand and engage the truth can do so?
What does this mean? How can we present the message of Christ with integrity in our context? I think we need to develop the cultural intelligence to know what is temporal and what is eternal. What can change, and what must stay the same?