April 03, 2012


2 Corinthians 2:14-17

A woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume.
—Mark 14:3


When someone wears a strong fragrance, it can be quite noticeable. Some may find it pleasant, but others may find it offensive.

Paul intends for us to be aware that our “fragrance” as followers of Jesus Christ ought to be noticeable to those with whom we come into contact. In fact, our aroma as Christ-followers should be so obvious that no one even needs to ask, “Are you a Christian?”

Further, says Paul, the aroma of Christ can be so powerful that it makes a life and death difference to people. That’s more than a subtle distinction.

Sad to say, we must confess that often our aroma is not pleasant. Too often foul language comes from our mouths, we have a foul temper, or people avoid us because we are in a foul mood. May our heart’s desire be that after we have left a room, people will say, “A Christ follower was here.”

“Who is equal to such a task?” asks Paul.

Let’s thank God that our situation is not hopeless. He “always leads us … in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Stay focused on following in his footsteps. Then people will sense his presence wherever you go. Thanks be to God, indeed!

Thank you, Lord, that in Christ you cleanse us of the stink of sin and make us like a sweet-smelling aroma. There is victory in Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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