A pair of scientists from Texas A&M University have calculated that the human eye can detect the light of a candle flame from a distance of 2.76 kilometers or 1.71 miles. While this is not nearly as far as the 30 miles that some people claim on the internet, it’s still pretty impressive!
Jesus told His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matt. 5:14). In today’s reading Paul echoes this saying to explain why he is not discouraged. The apostle was motivated to proclaim the gospel by God’s mercy shown to him (v. 1). Paul considered himself to be the least of the apostles because he had persecuted the church. Yet he could also say, “[B]y the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect” (1 Cor. 15:10).
Paul’s strategy for preaching the gospel was to rely on the power of God instead of an elaborate speaking style or clever arguments.
In contrast, his opponents, who passed themselves off as “super-apostles,” seemed to be one thing but were really something else (2 Cor. 4:2). Paul’s style seemed bare, but the results showed that his message’s power came from God (v. 7).
If the gospel is so powerful, why do some reject his message? The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing. They refuse to believe because they are blinded by Satan, who Paul describes as “the god of this age” (vv. 3–4). This did not discourage Paul because he was also once an unbeliever. His troubles were part of God’s plan, “so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (v. 15).
>> Do not lose heart when someone resists the gospel. Share it as plainly as you are able. Ask God to open the eyes of the blind. Those who reject now may respond later.
Grant us courage and conviction in proclaiming the gospel. Let us fear You more than man, and care more about sinners’ eternal fate than their opinion of us. No one is truly safe until they know You.