Charlene and the Beretta

Whenever I see a Beretta on the road, I laugh.

27 years ago I was about to get married to Charlene. I was a seminary student at the time. Charlene was already working, and she owned a car: a white, sporty Beretta. At my bachelor party, one of my friends joked that I was marrying Charlene for her car.

That’s why I laugh. You’d have to be a fool to marry someone for a car. The reason I married Charlene had nothing to do with the Beretta or the wedding gifts. It had everything to do with her.

The Berettas I see today remind me what a fool I’d have been if I’d married for the benefits and not the relationship.

It’s the same with God. In presenting the gospel to others, we sometimes focus on the benefits of the gospel, like eternal life. There’s a place for this, of course. Rewards are used as a motivation for obedience, and the gospel brings us innumerable benefits. It’s right to think and talk about them.

I have a feeling, though, that at the marriage supper of the Lamb, we’ll be a lot more focused on Jesus than on anything else. All the benefits of the gospel will pale in comparison to him.

“The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God,” writes John Piper. The benefits are nothing compared to the person. The benefits are great; the person we seek is greater.