I have done this before – revised parts of Scripture to capture and emphasize points – but felt the need to do it again as we come to the close of a very long, tough, confusing and tumultuous year (at least for me and those whom I call family). It has been another year of growth and pain, joy and hope, loss and life and as I do every year (like most others), I take stock of my life, my faith, and my mission.
I am reminded that my mission is to help people grow spiritually and to do the same for myself. I am reminded that I am in relationship with Jesus who for me is Life and Resurrection, the only hope that outlasts all my dread and despairing.
So, I needed a reminder – a condensed version if you will – of exactly WHO Jesus is.
I believe that 1 Corinthians 13 is the most succinct and descriptive theological dissertation on the nature of Jesus and God.
And in a year, where we all seemed to focus more on our differences, and did so with intense vitriol and hatred, I also thought it appropriate to do my revision. God is love and in Jesus we see all the glory of God, so I took out the word “love” and replaced it with Jesus.
So when you are wondering who Jesus is and how he thinks, feels and would respond to you, read this…
1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version – NIV) – Revised by Niles Comer
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have Jesus, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have Jesus, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have Jesus, I gain nothing.
4 Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind. Jesus does not envy, nor does He boast, and He is not proud. 5 Jesus does not dishonor others, and is not self-seeking, Jesus is not easily angered, and Jesus keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Jesus never fails.
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and Jesus. But the greatest of these is Jesus.