Why do people miss the gospel?

Published at: 10/08/2021

Also available in

Why do people miss the gospel?

Hiddenness is one of the fundamental characteristics of the gospel, because God reveals himself only to those who seek him.

I came across this article recently and wanted to share it as widely as I can Outreach Magazine article I will provide a quick summary but I recommend the full article.

One of the most prominent themes in the book of Matthew is that of hiddenness: Even though the truth of the gospel is available to all who will hear, it is at the same time hidden. In fact, most people who encounter the gospel ultimately miss it

1. The glory of Jesus was hidden in an earthly body

The Son of God—who designed the oceans, the stars, the nucleus of the atom and the complexity of the human brain—was born into the world through the messy process of childbirth. He grew up among the poorest of the poor. He dressed in ordinary clothes, ate ordinary food, and his feet and back got sore after standing all day, just like the rest of us. He never led an army, won an election or got an award.

2. The power of the gospel is hidden in its simplicity

The gospel message is not impressive on the surface. Its form—a preached word that we can set aside, argue with, even ignore—is mundane. Parables about birds and seeds are not the vehicle you’d expect to contain divine truth. But don’t let the form fool you—in these words are the very power of God.

An acorn is so small you can crush it under your feet, yet it has within it the potential for a mighty tree whose roots can split concrete.

In the same way, Jesus said, the Word, which is put in the mouths of ordinary people and contained in simple stories and parables, contains within it the ability to free the believing soul from the penalty and power of sin and infuse divine life into the hearer.

3. The beauty of the gospel is hidden in ordinary believers

Sometimes I find myself wishing that God saved more impressive people—more athletes, movie stars and brilliant intellects. Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad he saves ordinary people like me, but couldn’t he get more mileage out of “better” material?

And yet, that’s just not God’s way. The instruments of gospel proclamation are not extraordinary but ordinary people (1 Cor. 1:26–30).

But don’t be fooled by the plainness of the package. In C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, there is a passage in which the senior demon tells his demon-in-training to play up the disappointment his target feels when he attends church: Make this man notice the voices out of tune around him and the odd clothes and the cheap Christian jewelry and how so many of them are overweight or unattractive. Then he would believe that because some of those people look ridiculous that their religion must also be ridiculous.


“When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.”

C S Lewis