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Discipleship Jesus Preaching Key Article Kingdom of God Ministry

What is The Good News of the Kingdom of God – that Jesus Preached?

Ye are the Light of the world

Mark 1:15 gives us the shortest – checklist or bulleted point version – of the Gospel, the Good News, that Jesus preached.

Good News is big news – news that changes everything. It was modeled after how the Romans announced a new Emperor. Messengers were sent out, proclaiming how there was a new ruler. Who would protect the empire, and the peace – the Pax Romana. All were to bow down to the new ruler and worship. So much was this modeled after what the Roman Empire did, I am surprised that Jesus wasn’t killed for announcing this way – and killed far earlier. But God had other plans.

Jesus uses the term Good News in Luke 4 where he gives the longest version of the gospel in the Synoptic, the first three Gospels. He is quoting from Isaiah 61. Israel was very familiar with Isaiah.

So the term “Good News” had multiple meanings to the people of the times in the Roman Empire, including in Jerusalem. It was a strong term.

Let’s take a look at the short version of the Gospel so we don’t overload ourselves at first look.

There are a couple of things about the context that are best understood. You may remember that scripture tells us that Jesus was called to preach to the Hebrews, to Israel, first. The Hebrews were well versed in Torah, the teachings of the first five books of our bible.

They knew well of, and understood much about the Fall of Man and the curses of this broken world that we have inherited. This was written about in Genesis 3:15, and the Hebrews knew this scripture well.

That’s what I like to call the Bad News: we live in a broken world full of curses and problems, such as sickness, death, taxes, relationship difficulties, financial problems, bad politics, imperfect and even evil rulers…the list goes on and on. All of us are affected by at least some of these: the Bad News is personal to us all.

So Good News that changes everything is greatly needed.

Jesus told us that Now is the time. The time of his coming and of his Kingship (he is the King of the Kingdom of God) – his Kingship had been coming for a long time. And when the human mind hears the word “Now” spoken, without realizing it, we tend to think of now. We momentarily experience ourselves in the present. A side effect of this is that we are more present, and we are more whole minded. Decisions have an even wider impact, helping them to be more solid and long lasting, unlike too many New Year’s resolutions.

Remember, this is being spoken by the King who is present. The Anointed One who has Holy Spirit on him since his baptism in water, Holy Spirit for a purpose – which is an important part of the human experience of the Anointing. (Luke 4 and Isaiah 61 tells us what the Anointing is for. The Hebrews knew this well and were looking forward to the coming of the Anointed: the Messiah (transliterated from the Hebrew) or the Christ (transliterated from the Greek).

When an important truth is spoken, human intuition perceives it, if nothing is getting in the way. Holy Spirit is whispering it to our spirit, and we know; and we know that we know….

So Now is the time. The Time has come. (Kairos moment – anyone?)

Now the big announcement. Here it is, folks. And this is huge. Why, because we live in a broken world full of curses where the adversary rules – that’s a whole other message – but see Genesis.

Now here’s the thing, folks.

When we experience the Presence of God as near us, with us or in us – we experience ourselves as more confident, whole, resourceful and even joyful. (Very much related to the Greek word, salvo – which can mean salvation, wholeness, healing, and more.)

Jesus invites you into his Kingdom. By Sitara.

When we experience the Presence of God as far away or absent, we tend to become depressed and hopeless. We may feel fragmented, we do not experience ourselves as feeling whole.

Want to see these differences dramatized? Read Psalms!

The difference is not subtle. It’s very important.

When we experience the truth and Presence of God as in us, near us or in us – we experience not only more wholeness, but more whole-mindedness. This means that what we decide while being this way, these decisions are more whole minded and thus more stable and long lasting.

So the message of Jesus continues. Now is the time (finally). (The King is speaking. Clearly implied but not said.) The Kingdom of God is at hand – literally within reach.

Which means – those areas where the hearer is experiencing the curses or brokenness of this world – such as sickness, financial or relationship difficulties, and so forth — which are under the rulership of the adversary — are all within reach of help. The rule of God as in Eden (Paradise, Garden of) – can be restored to that area of your life. Sickness can be healed. Freedom can be obtained – “the prisoners freed”.

This is good news. Wonderful news! Literally, Good News that changes everything.

We’ll explore how this applies to practical ministry to heal people’s sicknesses and problems. How to restore to people every good thing originally given to us by God.

So watch for future articles, all based on the foundational teaching about the Kingdom of God that Jesus preached. Including:

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Church Life Discipleship Holy Spirit Ministry Success

Had Never Seen a Pastor Cry

John, a revered yet aging Pastor, was crying in the parking lot. It was the end of the day and nearly everyone had left. The parking lot was nearly empty, the smell of car fumes fading in the closing early evening light. I had just finished sweeping, and was headed home.

And, I had never seen a grown man cry like this in such a public place, much less a Pastor. I was uncomfortable, embarrassed, and I had no idea what to do. And I could not look away, I was as fascinated as I was scared. No, I was more fascinated than scared.

Approaching carefully, lumbering along with his long legs came Ben, an unofficial elder in the church. He’d been around for years and never held an official position. Yet when he spoke, people knew to listen.

I knew he’d know what to do and what to say, so I paid close attention.

I did know, and I had heard some of the biting remarks, some people – I guess you could call it a faction, criticized the Pastor for how he did his job. Some people disagreed with how he did things. The Board Meetings had grown longer than they used to be. And when people came out from them, sometimes some of them were clearly unhappy. Or so I had fairly recently heard.

I was too far away to hear clearly. Ben got Pastor John’s attention and said something, I’m now fairly certain he’d asked a question. Pastor John took some time replying. I could not look away, though I tried very hard not to be seen staring.

They talked. After a while, Ben looked over to me and motioned for me to come over. I was scared and nervous; I knew I’d been caught prying. But I came, I had no choice.

Ben looked at me, I was the youngest there, and he told me, in a quiet yet very definite way, “I want you to hear this.” Now I felt caught in a place I had no business being; but Ben was as safe as he was wise. Like a grandfather who makes it clear that you are wonderful, the best, and who always believes in you. So even though I was nervous and had been caught out, I felt pretty safe.

Pastor John had his composure now, and stood looking at Ben with his arms no longer moving as when he was talking; they were just hanging by his sides.

I heard Ben say this, and I’d never forgotten that moment. “Pastor John, have you been doing your very best?” “Yes, of course I have.”

“Have you done what you know or believe what Jesus has wanted you to do, to the best of your ability?” “Always. I wasn’t always as sure as I wanted to be, but I’ve been careful to do my best.”

“Have you acted with loving compassion, as much as possible?” Pastor John thought for a bit, lifted his head and smiled a bit as he answered like he just realized something. Then he answered, in a more definite way than he had been speaking before: “Yes!” He looked almost surprised at his own answer.

“Have you acted with, as best you knew how, with the Holy Spirit?” “Yes, I have”, came Pastor John’s reply with a growing yet thoughtfulness, steadiness and strength.

“Well, then I have something to say. You are a success.”