Sometimes the question is asked, did Jesus preach the gospel? Let us looks at the scriptures to get a clear understanding of the gospel that Jesus preached.
The book of Mark begins with this statement in Mark 1:1, saying, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Then further in the chapter, we read in verses 14 and 15, Jesus says, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
In these passages, we see the gospel as the “gospel of Jesus Christ”, and in verse 2, the “gospel of God”. Additionally, when we read in Matthew 4:23, it says that Jesus came preaching the “gospel of the kingdom.”
When Jesus preached the kingdom of God, he was revealing something radical, and that was the promise of God to establish a new kingdom that was starting to be fulfilled. It was all about Jesus coming to the earth and God’s rule in a way that has never happened before. Jesus, in His coming, established His spiritual kingdom. His spiritual rule and government are not by means of observable signs but by the Holy Spirit’s power and transformation of lives. The final and total consummation of the spiritual and physical kingdom of God will be when He returns. Amen!
When Jesus was asked to describe the Kingdom of God, He did so by explaining in Luke 17:20-21 saying, “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
Jesus explains that the kingdom of God is already here and in their midst. It is not observable in the way the Jews were expecting, such as the destruction of Israel’s enemies and establishing a new rule on earth. Instead, it was a spiritual kingdom until the final and total consummation of the kingdom of God when He returns.
We see a further explanation of the kingdom of God in Romans 14:17, saying, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” This is why Jesus began to preach, saying in Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The kingdom of God is about repentance, redemption and restoration offered to all who accept the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God is about the rule and reign of God bought about by the Holy Spirit, bringing righteousness, joy and peace through which the reign of God is being manifested.
Jesus likewise preached righteousness; He preached repentance; he preached kingdom principles, about being a servant, serving one another, loving one another, and being a light amid the darkness. In addition to kingdom principles, He taught His disciples about His Messiahship that all scriptures pointed to Him, and He would fulfil it.
For example, Luke 18:31-34 says, “And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” But the disciples understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.”
Jesus hid some of the gospel truths from the disciples until after His resurrection. They did not fully comprehend the coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God. But after the resurrection, Jesus explains the entire message from all scripture by opening up their minds to understand.
Luke 24:44-49 says, “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Jesus also preaches that you cannot enter the kingdom of God unless you are born again. John 3:5 says, “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”. Likewise, Paul also gives us this same message. Unless we repent and turn from our sins, we cannot enter the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), and Peter likewise gives us instruction on living a holy life to enter the kingdom of God (2 Peter 3-11).
Friends, this is what the gospel is all about. It is the good news of God bringing His kingdom rule, which He promised beforehand, and gifting salvation by His grace so that we may have the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all nations. Amen!
Romans 1:1-6 explains it this way: “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,”
Jesus preached the kingdom of God, and His spiritual kingdom has been established, and according to scriptures, when He returns, God will usher in a new creation after bringing judgment on the earth. It will be a place of perfect righteousness and peace (Revelation 21:1-5)
In conclusion, Jesus did preach the gospel. He preached repentance and belief in the gospel (Mark1:15). Jesus preached that we must be born again (John 3:5). Jesus preached kingdom principles, and finally, He preached about the coming judgment, asking His servants to be prepared for the coming of our King and Savior. This was possible because of His death on the cross and resurrection; so that all who believe in His name will be saved.
So, I pray that you too may hear and believe in the gospel, repent and turn from your dead works and do the deeds of one born again into the kingdom of God. May you have the fruits of the Spirit, shining the light of Jesus bringing glory to the Father in heaven.