The GOSPEL of the kingdom - the intern's blog
Recently, I was quite struck by a short line about Jesus in Matthew. At the end of chapter 4, just preceding Jesus' famous sermon on the mount, is a short detailing of what Christ was doing before His grand teaching. In 4:23, "Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, ..." "gospel" is another word for "good news."
When I think of the "gospel", I immediately think of the "good news" that is Jesus taking my sin, making me holy before God, adopting me as a child of God and becoming heaven bound! Paul writes in 1 Corithians 15:1, "Now I make known to you , brethren, the gopel which I preached to you." He then writes about the significance of Christ's death and resurrection for our salvation - indeed, good news. Yet, Jesus was already teaching "the gospel of the kingdom" at the beginning of His ministry. He was teaching this as He went to the Jewish communities in their synagogues. And although what He precisely said was not recorded, we know that Christ upheld scripture in His teachings and some, if not many, of those listening would have been educated about what we now call the "Old Testament."
I love the thought of Jesus bringing smiles to their faces as He taught them the love of God, as seen in His preservation and provision of the Israelite nation. And at this time, the Jewish people had not heard from God directly in quite a while - so to have a man who confidently and clearly spoke of the glorious kingdom of God would truly make an impact. They needed to hear some gospel teaching, as they waited for their Messiah to come. And for any skeptics in the crowd who may have been doubting what Jesus had to say, their doubts were quickly dashed as they then watched Christ heal every sickness & disease of those brought before Him (Matt. 5:23b).
In our world today, many are still waiting for someone to bring them hope. The very fact that Jesus started His ministry by proclaiming the good news of the God's kingdom, I am reminded that I, too, need to proclaim the amazing glory that comes with adoption into God's kingdom. Proclamation of the gospel followed by action will surely remind those who we are ministering to that God's love is real and the coming of His Kingdom is good news.