A picture’s worth a thousand words—especially if the picture has been doctored to look better than the original. I recently saw a house for sale online with a beautiful sunset sky above the roof and windows that seemed to be glowing. The house had already sold, but my realtor friend told me there had been “tons” of excitement about the listing in part because of that stunning (and edited) first picture. In reality, the house was similar to many other comparable properties, but the enhanced photo caught more buyers’ attention.
Unlike real estate photos, however, the gospel never needs to be edited or enhanced. The plain and simple good news of Jesus dying and rising again to save sinners who believe on Him needs no further highlights.
We may be tempted to edit or enhance the gospel message to make it appear less offensive or more appealing. When the Apostle Paul visited the city of Corinth, he said he “did not come proclaiming . . . the testimony of God with lofty speech” (1 Corinthians 2:1). “Lofty speech” would be like photoshopping the gospel; trying to make it sound more fancy. But Paul says instead of intending to impress people or play to the elitist crowd, he “decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
The straight-forward message of the gospel is about the terrible and wonderful cross. Terrible because of the suffering Jesus’ endured, but wonderful because He took on Himself the judgment that should have been ours. This story of a crucified Savior is not what many people want to hear. But, oh how it will change your life! Not everyone accepts this unedited gospel, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).