Words are only part of the gospel – Lazar Puhalo

Words are only a part of the gospel.

The life and actions, and the way Christ treated the outcast and “sinner” is the greater part of the gospel.

It seems that far too many people see a set of laws and rules in the gospel, and do not see the light and life in which often, social conventions and rules are simply overturned. Not only is the Parable of the Prodigal at the heart of the gospel, but something too often overlooked: Under the law, a leper is not only an outcast who cannot enter the temple precinct, but it is forbidden for anyone to even touch a leper.

Christ, however, heals the leper precisely by touching him. Touching the leper is as much a part of the gospel and any word recorded in it. Indeed, the gospel of our salvation consists far more in what Christ did than in what He said. The healing of the fallen human nature by taking it upon himself; calling us out of our alienation by his Incarnation and fellowship with us, delivering us from the bondage to the fear of death; embracing sinners, touching lepers, conversing with a Samaritan woman and making here an Apostle; healing the child of a Canaanite “sinner.”

And why did Christ make a habit of eating and drinking with sinners and publicans except to demonstrate to them that he does not leave them in their alienation. Rather, God has come down to them, to find these lost sheep and heal their alienation. Since they could not make it back to God on their own, he comes and takes them by their spiritual hands and leads them out of their alienation: all this is the gospel. And our salvation appears to rest on our understanding that Matthew 25 is a keystone in that gospel, demonstrating to us by what means we may know we have assimilated his gospel and are ourselves no longer in alienation from God.

(Vladika Lazar)

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