The Hidden Power of Scent
2Cor. 2:14 ¶ But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.
2Cor. 2:15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
2Cor. 2:16 to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
2Cor. 2:17 For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.
The sense of smell is possibly the strongest of all the senses and seems to link us directly with memories. A particular scent reminds us of a person, a place and an activity. The early followers of Jesus Christ were not just imitators of Christ but they were to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that they literally “smelled” like him. There is a sweet fragrance that develops when one comes to know Christ. Therefore the follower of Christ, as they spend time with him, becomes the very aroma of Christ.
This aroma of Christ means life for those who follow him, but death for those who do not. This is not any type of peddling of the gospel, but instead this is living the gospel and allowing the Holy Spirit to permeate ever nook and cranny of our being. When this happens we can’t help but present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world around us for all those who encounter us will discover that there is something different about us - that we are filled with Jesus.
Every now and then my husband will splash on a cologne he used to wear back when we were dating. I love that smell and it brings back warm thoughts to my mind and will always remind me of him! He tells me that when I’ve been gone for work for a few days he lingers for a few minutes in the closet, because the smell of my clothing reminds him of me and that I am close by. It is simply amazing the way in which smell, something that we can’t see or touch can trigger such powerful thoughts.
Just imagine what this means for a follower of Jesus Christ. We may not personally recognize the fact that the longer we hang out with him the more of his scent permeates our being but those around us will notice. This fragrance of Jesus spills over onto people we meet on a daily basis and it wafts down the street as we go about our daily lives.
On Monday morning one of my friends since my teen years was killed in a car accident. In just a moment of time Janelle Zurcher was gone. Janelle was one of those whose life was the fragrance of Jesus. You never had any doubt about the love affair that she had with him. Her sweet temperament and love for him shone through in everything that she did. She loved spending time in his presence, and you knew it!
We will miss our friend Janelle and we will miss the swath of Jesus that she created everywhere that she went. Are there others who are willing to give of their time and energy to give all that they have to knowing Christ? We need at least ten more to step up in their walk with create to fill the room with his fragrance because Janelle is gone. We must fill in the gaps that will be left by her absence.
May we be the sweet smell of Jesus to our world today.
Lord, draw me near to you. Amen.