An Elevator Pitch for Itchen Valley Parish 2 Timothy 2:8-10 by Revd Alex Pease

2 Timothy 2:8-10

“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David”

“Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead a descendant of David”

Last year, we had a meeting of the PCC (Parochial Church Council) and those involved in the different ministries in Itchen Valley.  We spoke about how we might become a parish which was focused on growth on bringing new people into the kingdom, rather than being one which is just trying not to decline.  One of our member suggested that we decide on an ‘elevator pitch’: a few lines in which we could summarise what the gospel was about; an aide memoire to remember the key points; as we would sell ourselves as a potential employee or any other product if we were alone in an elevator with someone.

It was a good idea.  But I have been struggling to see how we could summarise the gospel in this way, until that is I read today’s reading from Timothy.

“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David”

Paul describes this as his gospel ‘for which [he] suffers hardship even to the point of being chained like a criminal’

But the gospel he says, “is not chained” despite him being chained up, probably to a Roman soldier. The gospel that he tells, the word of God, is not chained.

“Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David”

Paul may have repeated this expression over and over again to the Roman soldier chained next to him.  To the extent that the soldier may have wondered whether it was him or Paul who was the prisoner!

There is a suggestion, in this simple elevator pitch, of everything which is exciting but also highly controversial about the gospel.

Firstly, it is about Jesus Christ.

Christ is not a surname! It means ‘anointed one’ or ‘Messiah’; the predicted one who would come to put Israel right.

But, of course, anyone could claim to be the Messiah.  And others did around the First Century. 

But what proof was there that Jesus was the Messiah?

“Raised from the dead”

Coming back from the dead is an incredible claim.  In a world which was much closer to death  than we are, everyone knew that dead people stay dead.  

But even that is not the most incredible thing about this phrase.  It is the word ‘raised’ which is really, really controversial.  Because it provokes the question ‘raised by whom?’

Who can raise people from the dead?

In the natural world people who die stay dead.

The only answer can be something or someone beyond the natural: a supernatural intervention.

But that implies a supernatural endorsement of who Jesus is and what he said.  It’s a colossal spiritual claim!

Then…..’descended from David’ that’s King David!  This is a political claim.  Here the Roman soldier is starting to get really nervous.  Its the assertion (by implication) that Jesus is the rightful king, the person to whom all authority in the world is owed. The true king of the whole world.

Not Caesar

Nor in a later age…

Not Hitler or Stalin

Not Boris Johnson

Not Jeremy Corbin

Not Jo Swinson

Not Nigel Farage

Not Jonathan Bartley or Sian Berry of the Greens

but Jesus Christ!

Not even HM The Queen (she would accept this as a fact anyway even if the others do not)

Perhaps not such a revolutionary idea now…..but very dangerous revolutionary stuff in the first century Judea.  And yet the Roman soldier just cannot get the words out of his head Jesus Christ Raised from the dead descended from David and as he takes these dangerous words home with him or to the soldiers mess they do their work gradually as the beat a timbre into his soul….Jesus Christ Raised from the dead descended from David.  And the gospel is un-chained and does its work in him…

So what do we say when someone asks us what we believe? ‘Oh you go to church don’t you?Whats all of that about then….?’

Don’t say, in the chains of your embarassement, ‘Oh well I go to see my neighbours’ or 

‘I like the coffee that the ladies prepare’.

Please remember to say it’s all about Jesus:






And you will have covered the whole gospel….

Jesus Christ Raised from the dead Descended from David

And the gospel will be unchained and go about its work.  And lives will be transformed 


2 Timothy 2:8-10

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Ti 2:8–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.


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