* What Good News is
Jesus preached the gospel—the Good News—to everyone who wanted to hear it. The Good News is that the Kingdom of Heaven has come, that God is with us, and that he cares for us. Christ can heal us, not just of physical sickness, but of spiritual sickness as well. There’s no sin or problem too great or too small for him to handle. Jesus’ words were good news because they offered freedom, hope, peace of heart, and eternal life with God. (NLT)
Matthew 4:23-24 – Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues, preaching everywhere the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed people who had every kind of sickness and disease. News about him spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that the sick were soon coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness and pain, or if they were possessed by demons, or were epileptics, or were paralyzed—he healed them all.
* – What is God’s Good News? These first words spoken by Jesus in Mark gave the core of his teaching: that the long-awaited Messiah had come to break the power of sin and begin God’s personal reign on earth. Most of the people who heard this message were oppressed, poor, and without hope. Jesus’ words were good news because they offered freedom, justice, and hope. (NLT)
Mark 1:14-15 – Later on, after John was arrested by Herod Antipas, Jesus went to Galilee to preach God’s Good News. “At last the time has come!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!”
* – Here Paul summarizes the Good News about Jesus Christ, who (1) came as a human by natural descent, (2) was part of the Jewish royal line through David, (3) died and was raised from the dead, and (4) opened the door for God’s grace and kindness to be poured out on us. The book of Romans is an expansion of these themes. (NLT)
Romans 1:3-5 – It is the Good News about his Son, Jesus, who came as a man, born into King David’s royal family line. And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raided him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what god has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
* Doom for those who reject Good News
The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire from heaven because of their wickedness. Those who reject the Good News when they hear it will be worse off than the wicked people of these destroyed cities, who never heard the Good News at all. (NLT)
Matthew 10:15 – [Jesus said] “I assure you, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off on the judgment day than that place will be.”
* The urgency to spread Good News
Jesus said that before he returns, the Good News about the Kingdom (the message of salvation) would be preached throughout the world. This was the disciples’ mission—and it is ours today. Jesus talked about the end times and final judgment to show his followers the urgency of spreading the Good News of salvation to everyone. (NLT)
Matthew 24:14 – [Jesus said] “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then, finally, the end will come.”
* Responsibility to share Good News
Pious Jews shook the dust from their feet after passing through Gentile cities or territory to show their separation from Gentile influences and practices. When the disciples shook dust from their feet after leaving a Jewish town, it was a vivid sign that they wished to remain separate from people who had rejected Jesus and his message. Jesus made it clear that all who heard the gospel were responsible for what they did with it. The disciples were not to blame if the message was rejected, as long as they had faithfully and carefully presented it. We are not responsible when others reject Christ’s message of salvation, but we do have the responsibility to share the Good News clearly and faithfully. (NLT)
Mark 6:11 – [Jesus said] “And if a village won’t welcome you or listen to you, shake off its dust from your feet as you leave. It is a sign that you have abandoned that village to its fate.”
* Why Good News baffles many people
Why did Jesus call these disciples foolish? Even though they well knew the biblical prophecies, they failed to understand that Christ’s suffering was his path to glory. They could not understand why God did not intervene to save Jesus from the cross. They were so caught up in the world’s admiration of political power and military might that they were blind to God’s Kingdom values—that the last will be first, and the life grows out of death. The world has not changed its values. The suffering servant is no more popular today than he was 2,000 years ago. But we have not only the witness of the Old Testament prophets; we also have the witness of the New Testament apostles and the history of the Christian church testifying to Jesus’ victory over death. Will we confront the values of our culture and put our faith in Jesus? Or will we foolishly continue to ignore this Good News? (NLT)
Luke 24:25 – Then Jesus said to them, “You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.”
* – Many Jews considered the Good News of Jesus Christ to be foolish, because they thought the Messiah would be a conquering king accompanied by signs and miracles. Jesus had not restored David’s throne as they expected. Besides, he was executed as a criminal, and how could a criminal be a savior? Greeks, too, considered the Good News foolish: They did not believe in a bodily resurrection, they did not see in Jesus the powerful characteristics of their mythological gods, and they thought no reputable person would be crucified. To them, death was defeat, not victory.
The Good News of Jesus Christ still sounds foolish to many. Our society worships power, influence, and wealth. Jesus came as a humble, poor servant, and he offers his Kingdom to those who have faith, not to those who do all kinds of good deeds to try to earn salvation. This looks foolish to the world, but Christ is the mighty power of God, the only way we can be saved. Knowing Christ personally is the greatest wisdom anyone can have. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 1:22-24 – God’s way seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven to prove it is true. And it is foolish to the Greeks because they believe only what agrees with their own wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God.
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