ASK YE WHAT GREAT THING I KNOW
Johann C. Schwedler, 1672–1730
Translated by Benjamin H. Kennedy, 1804–1889
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
A question that many struggle with today is “What is the real purpose of living?” Or, “What is the ultimate reality or joy in life?” The testimony of the author of the book of Ecclesiastes would no doubt echo the frustrations of many in contemporary society—“All is vanity, empty and meaningless.”
The author of this hymn text, Johann Schwedler, a prominent German minister and hymn writer of his era, discovered quite a different answer for his life—“Jesus Christ, the Crucified”—the consoler, reviver, healer, and final rewarder. For the apostle Paul, all of life also revolved around a personal relationship with Jesus Christ—“For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:2l).
C. S. Lewis has written: “Either Jesus Christ was what He claimed or He was a liar and we sh…