Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Gospel, part 2

This will be the second lesson from our gospel series. We are looking at various aspects of "the gospel" in our small group study at Memorial Union at 6pm on Wednesday. If your in the area, stop on by.
Mark 1.14-15 - Now after John had been handed over; Jesus went into Galilee preaching the gospel (good news; the announcement) of God. And saying the time has been fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe in the gospel (good news; announcement).

The time was fulfilled?
Why was this the time? What did this mean?
Read Gal. 4.4-5 - But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
From a historical standpoint, this was the right time because:
1. There was a common language (Greek)
2. The OT (the Scriptures) were available in this common language
3. Vast road system (easy to travel).
4. Achievement of law and order (Pax Romana)
5. Spread of Judaism throughout the Empire
6. Jews longed for a messiah

Kingdom of God is at hand (or near).
Because the King was at hand, the kingdom, naturally was at hand.
What kind of King? John the Baptist wanted to know the answer to this question.
See Matt. 11.2-6 - Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

The Characteristics of this king – Blind receive sight; lame walk; lepers cleansed; deaf hear; dead raised gospel preached to the poor.
Look at Isaiah 35.4-6; the above list from Matt. 11.2-6 are the things that will take place when Yahweh (the King) comes. Jesus gives these things as the evidence that the King is here to John.

Repent – the word means to change your mind. It often had the connotation of a new relationship with God that impacted all spheres of life. It dealt with the question of one’s standing before God. This repentance was calling for obedience to the will of God; trust in God and the rejection of false gods; it was turning aside from everything ungodly.
See Jer. 26.3 and Ezek. 18.26-28. Ezekiel gives the picture of what repentance looks like. Jeremiah tells that God will change his mind (repent) of the calamity he is planning on his sinful people if they listen and turn from their evil way.

Yahweh is coming as a judge, so get ready and repent (turn to him). Jesus is Yahweh’s appearance. This is tied back to John’s announcement that the one following him (Jesus) will baptize with the Spirit. This Spirit empowers this repentance.

What can we learn from the Gospel in this passage?
Jesus tells us to believe in the Gospel. The content is that Jesus is King. As the coming king he demands that the wicked changed their ways and follow him in obedience. We are to believe in this gospel, which as was shown last week, is connected with the “evangels” of the Roman Emperors, that is Jesus’ coming is an event that brings about a radically new situation for humanity.

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