Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” ~ Mark 1:14-15
Jesus’ ministry centered on his preaching, but this wasn’t simply some feel-good, here’s five points to follow message. No, Jesus came to declare the good news.
Good news—that’s what this word “gospel” means. Throughout the New Testament this word is used with various descriptors. It is called the “gospel of God” (here and Romans 1:1), the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23, 24:14), the “gospel of grace” (Acts 20:24), the “gospel of Christ / Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1, Romans 15:19), and the “gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15) among others. Most often, it is just simply “the gospel.”
Each of these descriptions point us to the same reality: We need the good news because there is bad news in the world. The bad news is our rebellion against God, decay and death, and eternal condemnation under God’s wrath, all from which we cannot rescue ourselves.
But the good news is that God has given us rescue through Jesus. He is bringing his righteous Kingdom to reign over creation, to right all wrongs, to give peace where there is enmity, and to put an end to sin and death. We are a part of this if we realize the bad news, hear the good news, and put our trust and hope in Jesus.
When Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is at hand,” he was declaring that all of these things were about to take place. The day is still future when King Jesus will return and bring the fullness of his kingdom to this world, where he will rule with perfect justice and goodness, and peace and joy will fill the lands. In the meantime, though, the kingdom is already here.
After his death and resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven and took a seat on his throne beside God the Father. Everywhere there is a follower of Jesus, the world has an ambassador representing the King and his kingdom. Everywhere the church gathers, it is a meeting of kingdom citizens.
Our task in this world is not to keep the good news of God to ourselves, but to do as Jesus did and invite others to join the kingdom ranks. We urge them to repent—to leave their rebellion against God, and to believe—to trust in Jesus as the Savior-King, believing his gospel. Every act of kindness and social justice we engage in, then, flows from this conviction and points to the King. So, let us go out and fulfill our role as kingdom representatives as those who have been entrusted with good news.
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Image taken and modified from pixabay.com