Ole and Lena’s bull took sick and died, so they needed to go to the auction to buy a new one. Ole had to get the crops in and couldn’t leave the farm, so Lena took the train to the city to buy a bull. If she was successful, she would take the train back to the farm, then she and Ole would go to town with the truck to pick up their newly purchased bull.

The bidding was furious at the livestock auction, and Lena found herself bidding on the last remaining bull. It took everything she had but ten cents, but she was finally the successful bidder.

Unfortunately, the train home was fifty cents. “Please, Mr. Conductor, couldn’t you make an exception just once?” pleaded Lena. “Sorry lady, ” he replied, “but you can send your husband a telegram to tell him your problem. The office is just down the street. ”

At the telegraph office, Lena asked, “Mister, how many words can I send to my husband for a dime?” “It’s ten cents a word, ” the clerk answered.

Lena pondered her dilemma, then finally said, “OK, here’s the message:

COMFORTABLE ”   (Got it? No? Read it again,  )

Condensing a lengthy message into one word can be quite a challenge. How would you condense the message of the gospel into one word? Love? Grace? When the New Testament summarizes the preaching of the gospel, it does it in this way:

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this scripture, preached Jesus to him. ” (Acts 8:35).

Philip’ s message to the Ethiopian eunuch, summed up 1 n one word, was Jesus. No doubt, Philip had much to say on the subject. I’m sure he spoke of why Jesus came, what Jesus did for us, and what our response to Jesus needs to be. His message obviously even included a mention of baptism, since the eunuch was led to ask further about that.

But, if the essence of our teaching ever becomes anything other than a focus on Jesus, it is no longer the gospel. All that we say and do is of significance only as it relates to our Lord and our Savior.

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Alan Smith

Boone church of Christ

Boone, NC