life-giving smell

What is the greatest smell ever? 

My first thought is of the thanksgiving turkey roasting in the oven when I was a kid.  I also recall Buschardt Gardens in spring, or even a Fenway Frank in July.  These smells are associated with some of the best moments of my life– memorable times with my family at home, holding hands with my wife in the overflowing gardens, and getting stuffed on horse-lip-meat at the 2nd best ballpark in States with my good friend Nate.  Great scents have a profound impact on us.  They draw us in (or are drawn into us), flood us with wonderment, and immediately fill our senses with life.

A follower of Jesus is supposed to smell great like that.  2 Corinthians 2 talks about how Christians are a "life-giving perfume" and a "sweet fragrance".  The idea is that we have within us a beautiful aroma that naturally pours out.  So when others encounter us they are instantly drawn to a level of wonderment that fills them with life.  In our "smell" is the Good News of Jesus.

Honestly though, I have to point out that too many Christians have too often smelled like rotting fish.  In the noses of many people, Christians absolutely stink.  We have left them with the stench of crap in their nostrils… causing them to wince and recoil… spoiling their appetite for God.  Instead of attractive aromas that people remember and treasure we can be disgusting scents.  So into the rose-smelling Good News of Jesus we mingle the waft of dead fish. 

As the Spirit of God works within us, 2 Corinthians 3 says, people who are being transformed by Jesus become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.  The life of Jesus, which Ephesians 5 compares to a sweet-fragrance, pours forth from us… and as a result, provides this world with fresh, clean life-giving air to breathe in deep.  So take a bath today… or let Jesus wash the stinky feet of your heart… and life fresh and clean for others.


  1. Thanks Jeff. We do miss the meaning of the name “Jesus” quite often. We treat it sometimes like it’s just another name… as it has become in many cultures. When Jesus was born, there was much Greek and Roman influence on Israel, so children would often be given a Hebrew name… and it would be transliterated into Greek. So in Jesus’ case, his Hebrew name was Yeshua (or we would know it as “Joshua”)- just like you mention – and the Greek transliteration is “Jesus”. It was actually a fairly common name at the time… who wouldn’t want their son named after the great Israelite leader Joshua? But in Jesus’ case, the meaning of “Yeshua” (Joshua) really took root. In that name is “God” (Yahweh) and “saves” – just like you say. It goes hand in hand with “Immanuel” in Matthew 1:23-25… a name that means “God With Us.”
    So there is no problem knowing Jesus as “Jesus”. That is a powerful name when it is connected with our Savior. But I understand too, the great depth of meaning that could be communicated through knowing Jesus as Yeshua. It is a beautiful name. Savior, God Saves.

  2. There is a sweet smelling aroma that is so rare it has been 30 some years since I was aware of it… (and others around)…
    Like true fellowship “how rare and beautiful…”
    Isaiah and Matthew, and the prophets and apostles, all knew Yahshua – Yah(Yahweh)shua(salvation)… today most pastors and their adherents know ‘Jesus’ – Jesus(….) (no meaning in hebrew, greek, or any other language)
    Who was/is responsible for taking away the meaning and tricking all the people ?
    Even worse, instead of calling on The Name by which they may be saved, they are calling on a non-existant made up deity; instead of calling on Yahshua, watch next time to see what “other” god they call upon.(a god unknown in Scripture to all the Jews, the prophets, the apostles, the disciples, the ekklesia)…

  3. so, if christians are to be a sweet aroma, do you suppose that is why Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the furnace without even smelling like fire?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.