What is “the Gospel”? We might all give slightly different answers. Perhaps most would talk about Jesus’ sin-bearing death on the cross. That’s at the heart. But it isn’t the “Gospel” as Jesus says it. In Jesus’ mouth, the good news (gospel) is simply this: “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near” (Mark 1:14-15).
Simply, the kingdom is where God is king. Jesus said that it’s already here, but in the Lord’s Prayer He also told us to pray for it. As it comes, God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven (perfectly) – we are praying for heaven to come to earth. This affects every aspect of human life! Jesus taught about the kingdom, told stories about it (the parables usually begin, “the kingdom of God is like this…”), and He demonstrated what the kingdom is like by healing and setting people free.
From the beginning, Jesus called people to follow, and involved them in what He was doing. In Mark 3, it says that He called them, “That they might be with him, and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons”. The disciples were instructed to do what Jesus was doing, performing signs and wonders. Jesus repeated this command to the 12 when He sent them on mission (Matthew 10), to the 72 when He sent them (Luke 10), and to all disciples for all time when He sent us (after the resurrection, Matthew 28, “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”).
Frankly, most of us struggle with the idea that God could work through us supernaturally. We probably believe that Jesus did miracles, might believe that the disciples did miracles, and possibly even that a few special people have done miracles down through the ages. But Jesus doesn’t appear to think that we need to be particularly special for God to use us: “I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these…” (John 14:12).
This week is about growing into that life. Often growth requires us to come back to truths we already know, but need to experience more deeply. Come before Him now in prayer, and let Jesus teach you again this week what being His disciple means.