The Gospel of Mark tells us that after Jesus was baptized, before he called any disciples, he “came to Galilee proclaiming the good news of God and saying…”
Pause. When Jesus was “proclaiming the good news of God” – that is, proclaiming the gospel – what was he saying?
Today, when we say that somebody preaches the gospel, we might mean any number of things: they might be reminding us of God’s love and mercy…telling us how Jesus died for our sins…assuring us that God is with us in our troubles…but only once does the Bible say Jesus preached the gospel and then tell us word-for-word what he said.
Here it is: “The kingdom of God has come near!”
This may be the most important thing Jesus ever said, so we must make sure we understand it. He didn’t mean that some place up in the sky was unusually close to earth. He didn’t mean that the end of the ages was at hand. He meant that the possibility of God ruling our lives was greater than ever before – greater than we might even imagine!
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “The Kingdom of God: Beautiful feet” by Mark Allan Powell in the January/February 2022 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Mark, the Evangelist.
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