August 31, 2020

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God.
“The time has come,” he said. “The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Gospel.”
–Mark 1:14-15

If someone asked you: “What is the Gospel?” How would you respond? A common answer might be something like, “Jesus died on the cross for my sins, rose from the dead on the third day, and forgave me my sins and gave me eternal life.” Sounds like something Billy Graham might say at an altar call, doesn’t it?
All of that is right and good.

Now consider this: Jesus Himself preached the Gospel. He did this at the beginning His ministry – after all, this is the very first chapter of Mark’s Gospel. “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God.” Verse 14. Naturally, Jesus was not spreading the news about His death and resurrection – that would not take place for another three years! So what message was He preaching? …what is the Gospel?

And, did you notice that it did not say “the Gospel of Jesus Christ” – it says, “the Gospel of God.” Have you ever wondered about that?

* * *

My point is this: the Gospel is bigger than we often realize or have been told. How little we have heard about the Resurrection of the Dead. How little we have heard about the Ascension. How often we have passed over God’s justice and righteousness in the world because we have been so focused on “if we are going to heaven when we die” that we stopped there. Yes, God will save our souls, and the Gospel is so much bigger, deeper and more glorious than that.
May God develop a hunger in us for the complete message of the Scriptures. Because it is simply that good. There is a whole banquet for us to feast upon in the Bible, and often we settle for just a few spoonfuls. To be clear, this is not an invitation to be hard on ourselves for not reading more or putting pressure on ourselves; it is the hope that we will hunger for wanting to know what is so very Good about this Good News. As we do, the sound of the Hallelujah chorus will grow in our hearts. And we will be full of joy.

* * *

Father, teach us about the Good News of your Kingdom that we might live in it. Amen.