“According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.”
The passion that exercised the great apostle Paul most was that Christ would be made big in his life.
“so now also”
Now, when he was in prison, he wanted Christ to be magnified in his body.
“Christ will be magnified in my body”
Verse 18 says, “Christ is preached,” but this verse is an advance on that: “Christ will be magnified.” Christ preached has to do with words; Christ magnified has to do with works. It is not a question of either/or but of both/and. We can get out of balance either way. We can speak the gospel but not live the gospel; we can live the gospel but not speak the gospel. The word “magnify” means to make great, enlarge, praise. We get our English word “megaphone” from this word. A megaphone makes your voice big. A magnifying glass makes print big. We are to make Jesus big with our life and lips!
The Greek in the word “magnified” means that Christ receives magnification by our actions. There are two types of magnification: microscope and telescope. The microscope makes the little seem big. That is not the picture here. The telescope makes the actually big loom bigger. Our task as Christians is to bring the proportions of who Jesus truly is to the fore.
Mary used this word when she said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:16-17). It is easier to magnify the Lord in your soul than in your body. No one sees your soul, but people can see your body. Paul wanted Christ to be magnified in his “body.” The soul and spirit shine through the body (i.e., what the body does).
“Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13). God is concerned with the body as well as the soul. We should exercise care for the body as well as the soul. If we change oil and tune the engine but do not wash or wax the exterior of our automobile, that is an imbalance. If we wash and wax the car but do not care for the motor, that is distortion. If we care for our body but not our soul, that will warp our spirituality. If we nurture our soul but do not tend to our body’s activities, that will distort our testimony. Jesus should be magnified in spirit, soul, and body.
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
God’s purpose for the believer is to make what is truly magnificent about the Lord Jesus loom even more magnificent.
Do you want your body to be a magnifying glass for the Lord Jesus? Do you want to make Him big to the world—not life-sized but King sized? If we magnify Jesus, people will be attracted to Him and embrace Him as their Savior. Folks will sit up and take notice of Him. By this, we will enhance the world’s estimation of the Lord.