Preaching the Gospel
What do you think of when I say “preach the gospel”, sounds ‘churchy’ right? Can you picture a pastor standing behind a pulpit quoting words of scripture? Maybe telling the sacred story of the life of Christ, His death, burial, resurrection? Yet when you read the New Testament you’ll find that phrase used in many references, over 30 times, and often its Christ Himself preaching and He hadn’t died yet! If He hadn’t died, what was He saying to the people as He was ‘preaching the gospel of the kingdom’? That’s significant enough to look at a little closer.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV)
The gospel is good news, so good, in fact, it’s almost too good to be true. Of course it’s what Jesus accomplished for you on the cross but the bigger picture is what He’s doing for you right now. Notice that Jesus, in the scripture above, was doing more than speaking; he was giving evidence in support of those words.
Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. (Matthew 11:4-5 NLT)
The poor in these two passages are not financially poor, it’s referring to those who are poor in spirit. Spiritually poor are those who have reached a point in their life where they have been humbled by circumstances and realize they need God. People in your life who are depressed, discouraged, and maybe even hopeless could very well be in a place where they will hear the Good News. Preaching the gospel isn’t limited to the pulpit or center stage, it’s a simple word of hope. God loves you and if He’ll help me, then He’ll help you. Plain and simple. I like that, don’t you?
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15 NLT)
These verses speak of being beautiful when you share the good news. Be beautiful to someone this week and watch your own evidence appear. For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes (Romans 1:16a NLT)