2 Corinthians 4:1–6 (ESV)
The Light of the Gospel
4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We
refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is
veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For
what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The essence of Paul’s ministry was “mercy” through the Lord Jesus alone. Such mercy compelled
him to be straightforward, authentic, and transparent as a servant to God’s people. Merciful ministry exposes and binds us to the people we serve. We must never give in to the temptation to think that merciful ministry can be done from afar, as a master
and not as a servant. The same Lord who made “light shine out of darkness” will strengthen our hearts to be courageously transparent servants.
I pray: Thanks
be to God, who is generously merciful to us. May He prepare us and bind us to those who need such mercy. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1985.