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Thursday: The Gospel According to Jesus — 16 Comments

  1. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15

    Mark uses the greek word "Euangelion" translated "Gospel" more than any of the other Gospel authors. Interestingly, it was not a special word made up for Christianity; it simply meant "good news". When we have something exciting to tell to others we often preface our announcement with the exclamation, "Good News".

    There are four aspects to this verse:

    • Fulfillment of time
    • The Kindom of God is at hand
    • Repent
    • Believe the Gospel

    While the author has made a good case for the first one, I would like to link the other three together.
    "The Kingdom of God is at hand" implies the present rather than the future. It is here now and we can experience it now. It is not a future kingdom that we have to imagine. In that context it is useful to read the kingdom parables and their messages. Most of them apply to daily living.

    This is good news but requires preparation and that is summed up in one word, "Repent!" This statement was probably made in the presence of law-keeping conservative religious Jews who thought that they knew everything there was to know about religion and were meticulous in their adherence to the Torah. Why did they need to repent in order to believe the good news?

    And herein lies the message for Christians living in the 21st Century. Often we take refuge in the set of beliefs we have accumulated and have forgotten the principle of self-sacrificing love at the root of the good news.

    • ...self sacrificing love at the good news." God teach me to have the self sacrificing love of heaven. Thank you Ashton, true all parts of Mark 1:15 is connected.

  2. Sorry Maurice and others help me this, "Is Mary mother of John the one who was mother of JESUS?!" And is Mark John the same John of revelation?! Help

    • John the Revelator is the beloved disciple who wrote the Gospel of John. It was that John to whom Jesus said while on the Cross "Son, behold thy mother (Mary)" and to him mother Mary, "Mother, behold thy son".

      John Mark, the author of Mark, is the relative of Barnabas who went on missionary trips with both Paul and Barnabas and later with Peter.

    • The lesson this week says Mary the Mother of JohnMark later named Mark was a wealthy supporter of the early Christian Church who most likely influenced JohnMark to work with Paul. And may have encouraged him to take the second chance.

    • No, John's mother was not the mother of Jesus, and John the disciple, was not a brother of Jesus.

      But don't take my word for it. Instead, read the full gospels through for yourself, and you will see the answers to your questions. Reading the full gospel of Mark is a good start. It is the shortest gospel.

      When you have finished reading the gospel of Mark, read the gospel of Luke. It contains the most healing miracles because Luke was a doctor.

  3. Is there any good news coming straight from Jesus's own mouth that He's telling us today that we're just not grasping?

    Jesus echoed John in saying "the time is fulfilled". "Hey everyone, the Messiah has come and the time is ripe to set up and establish God's kingdom on earth."

    The people heard, "Hey everyone! It's time for the Jewish nation to have a new earthly kingdom. It's time for God's chosen people to triumph over all their political and religious enemies. It's time to make Israel great again."

    How could the common people be thinking that God was about to re-establish them as a nation when their leaders were again so corrupt and unholy? The sin of Israel lay at the root of all their national and personal wars, and their entrapment under the yoke of Rome. We see throughout the Old Testament that God can't work for a camp of unrepentant sin.

    The people being baptized by John did not flatter themselves so. They knew that as a people they needed to be honest and "fess up". They knew that their own people needed to repent of pride and receive forgiveness. They acknowledged that something was wrong and publicly showed that they were turning away from it. They wanted to be honest about things done and things left undone that separated them from God and from other people and did harm. They wanted to change their purpose and think differently.

    But did they think differently after their baptisms? Look at the 12 disciples. They continued to jostle and fight to be the greatest in Jesus's coming kingdom of love. How was that different than the Scribes and Pharisees all jealous of Jesus's popularity and wanting adoration for themselves?

    Fact: we don't know how to even repent. Even that has to be done for us by Jesus.

    A year and a half had gone by since His baptism and Jesus was popular with the people, John says "all men were flocking to Him" (John 3:26). But was He successful? The Sanhedrin had already rejected Him and were already bent on His death. They had already put John the Baptist in prison for speaking truth. Jesus had wanted to give the Jewish leaders opportunity to accept Him as their Messiah. But the time was already fulfilled spoken of by the prophets. He was rejected before He began. Wasn't it the Jewish leaders who told Herod the prophecy about the Messiah coming from Bethlehem (Matt. 2:3-6), and in telling him all the baby boys of Bethlehem were killed?

    Jesus headed out of Judea to Galilee now, where the people were more simple-minded and open-hearted, less subject to the Jerusalem leaders' influence. The Galileans were generally less prejudiced than the Judeans, more earnest and sincere and eager to hear Jesus without as much bias. Can we draw warning parallels? Does growing up in the church and hearing church lingo and being involved in church politics dull our hearing to what Jesus is trying to say? When He tells us something time-sensitive like "the time is fulfilled...learn something new from Me and modify your views" can we hear that?

  4. What does prophecy have to do with faith? Prophecy is related to the prediction of facts. Faith is the belief in unseen things. Fulfilled prophecy facts strengthen faith in the predicted future. Jesus is the most wanted prophecy fact of all time; He came and died, was resurrected, and promised to come back. He will fulfill what He promised.

  5. Yes, indeed, the ‘Good News’ given to all who want to live in God's spiritual Kingdom no matter where they live in this world has arrived with the Son of God - Jesus Christ; no more exclusiveness, no more running the obstacle course of the corrupted applications of the former Law given to establish His people's faith in Him.

    Simple faith in the Gospel of Christ Jesus has taken the place of the former Law. Focusing and adherence to the spiritual principle of loving God with all ones heart, expressed through treating our fellow man with kindness and respect in all our interactions with him - integrity and honesty in all our conduct -, encapsules the saving principles of the New Covenant of Faith.

    What began with the degree issued by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, to restore the physical Jerusalem and the temple, concluded with the outpouring and work of the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts and minds of the believers of Jesus Christ’s Gospel; it was time to take the New Covenant message to the rest of world.

    Yes, God gave the 'Good News' to His people first, preparing a multitude of followers from all corners of the world to become the first fruit of the 'fellowship of believers' living in the spiritual 'Kingdom of God' here on earth. Now, no matter who you are or where you live, all will benefit from God’s Grace through Faith in His Word.

  6. I concur with Maurice Ashton's comment on Thursday, that the living Gospel of Jesus - according to Jesus - is "Good news," and should certainly be believed.
    Indeed, there is remarkable hope and rejoicing in the salvific mission of Jesus Christ, as seen throughout Scripture!
    Thank God that our failures need never be final, due to the trust-worthy, reconciling and unshakeable power of the Holy Spirit. What an incredible gift! -Hebrews 2:18


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