No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. – 1 Corinthians 2:9
How often have you heard someone preach on that verse or use that verse to speak about the wonder of heaven or encourage someone about these great things that God has prepared for us in the future. While heaven is wonderful and God’s plan for our future do include great things, this verse has nothing to do with that.
I think our misunderstand and misuse of this verse speaks to a confusion of the American Christian life in general. The great inconceivable thing that God has prepared for those of us who love Him has already happened – Jesus.
Paul is trying to remind the church at Corinth that it is not about him or Apollo or Peter. It is all about Christ. The church was focusing on individual Christian leaders and it was dividing the body there. The apostle to the Gentiles tells those at Corinth that he intentionally did not speak with human power and wisdom, but rather with the power and wisdom of God. His goal was to keep the focus where it belonged on Christ.
As he moves to the message he preached, Paul says that he spoke of “God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.” Many of those who heard Jesus did not recognize that wisdom and they crucified Christ. But, and here comes our verse, God prepared something great for those that love him.
Paul even tells us that we already know the great inconceivable thing that God has prepared because He has revealed it to us by His Spirit. That thing that is inconceivable great and has been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit is the Gospel of Christ. That thing is the person of Jesus.
Why do we miss this? I think too many Christians elevate heaven and future blessings over Christ, over the Gospel. We already have the greatest thing ever. Heaven is great because Christ is there. The future of believers is great because Christ is there.
We focus on getting something more in the future, something bigger and better is out there for us. We don’t get it. The biggest, best thing that could possible happen has already happened for us – we have been brought from death to life through the sacrificial death of Jesus.
Our message must be Christ. We should not try to win people with a Gospel that promises great things in the future when the greatest thing is the Gospel. We do new believers a great disservice when we focus on or appeal to anything beyond the greatness of our God and His Gospel.
The great thing that God has planned for us is Jesus. Paul knew that. He knew that God has revealed to us His greatest mystery. He knew that the greatest thing that could ever be conceived is that a holy God would send His Son to die on behalf of unworthy sinners and through that we could experience a relationship with Him. No eye could possible imagine seeing that. No ear could even think of hearing a message that wonderful. No mind would dare to conceive of a demonstration of love so great.