Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gospel in the Gospels - Summary

This is my 6th post on a series looking at the question: "Do you see 'the gospel' clearly taught in each of the gospels?"  This summary post will make the most sense if you read the first 5 posts:

  1. Gospel in the Gospels - introduction and some thoughts to consider
  2. Gospel in Matthew - verses related to the term gospel in Matthew
  3. Gospel in Mark - verses related to the term gospel in Mark
  4. Gospel in Luke - verses related to the term gospel in Luke
  5. Gospel in John - verses in John that that make similar points
  6. Gospel in the Gospels - Summary

The premise of this series is that each gospel writer would not have assumed his readers had access to all the other NT books, or had our modern theological mindset.  We should assume each book would contain enough details to describe the essentials of our faith. For example John should give enough details to achieve the goal of vs 20:31
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (NIV)
Or Luke writing to Theophilus an orderly account of everything so "so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. " (Luke 1:4 NIV)

So after looking at the passages linked above, here is my summary of what stands out to me. I'd love to hear what others think.

Summary :

  • Jesus preached a lot about the kingdom of God or kingdom of Heaven, it seemed to be his favorite topic.  
  • We don't need to be thinking castles and knights etc when we think kingdom. Thinking more along the lines of reign, rule, authority, and dominion may be helpful.
  • These teaching about His kingdom are often referred to as gospel or good news
  • Jesus says the/a reason he was sent was to preach the good news of the kingdom of God
  • The disciples went out preaching about the kingdom of God/Heaven
  • There are many parables that describe the kingdom of God
  • Some references to the kingdom of God seem to be present tense and something to be received now. Some references to the kingdom of God are future tense.
  • Something about this kingdom is especially good news for the poor
  • We must have some child like quality to be part of it
  • Jesus is frequently called Messiah, King, Lord, Savior, Son of God
  • Jesus tells his disciples to go and preach the gospel to the whole world... and they did
  • Walking with Jesus is compared to walking in the light as opposed to darkness
  • John mentions many examples of believers who believed in Jesus' name, that He was/is the savior, the messiah, the son of God, or Lord.
Scripture is full of many truths. Many of these truths are good news messages.  When talking about the gospel of Jesus, I want to be faithful to the gospel according to the gospels, and to the gospel that Jesus and His disciples preached.

An added bonus of this approach is we arrive at a good news message that all Christian traditions agree on. This isn't a gospel message highlighting distinct beliefs of one tradition. These are basic teachings that are widely accepted. I don't think it's a watered down gospel either. There is nothing simple about trusting Jesus as Lord and savior. Being a child of the King brings great rewards, but also great responsibility.

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Alan Knox said...


I'm glad that you wrote this series. I agree that the gospel is all about the kingdom of God. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is part of the gospel, but it is not the entire gospel.

It looks like the gospel is not just about knowing the kingdom of God or entering the kingdom of God but actually LIVING in the kingdom of God... now... here.


Jonathan said...

Thanks Alan for the encouragement.

I agree.

"your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven."

This can be a prayer for ourselves in the present.

Erick Reinstedt said...

Thank you for your blog. I am really looking forward to reading more of it. I am downloading the two video teachings of the Kingdom of God that you recommended right now. I am currently teaching through the Kingdom of God at the church I pastor, and I believe it may be the most important series I have ever taught. We are missing so much by not understanding it! Thanks, again. I will try and follow you as regularly as I can. God bless you and yours and your ministry.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Erick, I appreciate feedback. I'm pretty sure I don't have it all figured out with regards to the gospel of the kingdom. But I think it was the central theme of Jesus' teaching, and likely of the early followers as well. So I'm trying to share what I can.

Hope some of my thoughts make sense. I'd also recommend the Richard Wilson link "Was Jesus as smart as Steve Jobs".

God Bless!