Gospel [gr. euaggelion] – lit. good news, news that makes one happy, information that causes one joy, words that bring smiles, a message that causes the heart to be sweet.
What makes Jesus good news today?
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.
He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
THIS IS GOOD: The whole gospel addresses the whole of the HUMAN CONDITION.
Spiritually: dead in our sins and separated from God
Socially: injustice, poverty, sickness, exploitation, marginalized
"The two beams of the cross—one vertical, the other horizontal—tell us all we need to know about the gospel. The cross-shaped gospel has to do with man being reconciled to God (the vertical beam) and to one another (the horizontal beam) through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who died in our place and for our sins"
Bryan Loritts, A Cross-Shaped Gospel
THIS IS GOOD: The whole gospel is expressed as SHOW & TELL.
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
The early church took Jesus literally:
- Vulnerable / Voiceless
- Racial / Social
- Poor / Oppressed
- Sick / Diseased
“It is our care of the helpless, our practice of loving kindness that brands us in the eyes of our opponents." - Tertullian, Early Church Father
How do we get back to the whole Gospel?
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Luke 9:23-25