Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.
We’re now working our way through 2 Corinthians. We continue our study of several verses in Chapter 2:
A Fragrance . . . or a Stench? (A Study of 2 Corinthians 2:14-17)
We’ve noticed, first of all, the image of a triumphal procession (v. 14). We have been conquered by Christ! Oh, glorious defeat!
Please notice, second, that Christ not only leads us as captives but uses us to have an impact on others! What is that impact? It is not just visual. There is an olfactory impact — we smell! If Paul is staying with the triumphal procession metaphor, those captured and defeated enemies most likely smelled like battle. The spectators would hiss and boo them — and turn up their noses at their stench!
We believers are carrying with us, on us, in us, “the aroma of the knowledge of him.” We smell like Christ. We carry with us “the aroma of the knowledge of him.” And please notice — this is not an aroma that fades or dissipates. We carry that aroma “everywhere.” We are permanently affected by this knowledge of Him.
Let’s move on this morning and see, third, that our primary audience is GOD! We read, “For we are to GOD the pleasing aroma of Christ . . .” (v. 15). HE is our “audience of one.” We smell like God’s own Son.
When our daughter was 12, she and I were snuggling on the couch the way fathers and daughters ought to snuggle. I leaned over and remarked, “You smell terrific!” (I think she was using a new shampoo). She then sniffed and said, “Dad, you smell terrific too.” Then she sniffed again and said, “No, that was still me.”
This metaphor of scent is central in this text. The Father smells the Son in us, on us. And we bring that reality with us wherever we go. But before we notice its impact on the only two classes of human beings who exist, let’s not miss the point that our primary audience is God Himself! And He is pleased with what He smells.
Today’s Challenge: How do we smell more like Christ? We need to be with Him more to pick up His scent, to be impacted by His Person and character. How and when will you be with Him today, my friend?