The Gospel 360

There are 360 degrees in a complete circle.  Relating your conclusion to the introduction when making a speech is a good way to tie everything up neatly.  If you finish your career the way you started, or move back home after relocating many times, we say you have come “full circle.”  Jesus begins and ends his ministry on earth the same way – sharing the Gospel.

In Mark 1 Jesus preaches his first sermon.  Before he healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water or fed thousands, he “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.’” (Mark 1:14-15)  In parables such as the Prodigal Son and in real life as with the Samaritan Woman Jesus taught and lived the Gospel.  He gave his disciples power to heal and cast out spirits and sent them out in pairs in order to multiply the effects of his ministry.  Even as he hung on the cross, he prayed for those crucifying him.  All of these are lessons/sermons I’ve used before.  But now look into the last chapter of Mark:

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.  -Mark 16:15

After his death, burial and resurrection, Jesus’ final words to the Apostles are to spread the Gospel, the Good News, to all nations.  Already he had told them to be his witnesses to Jerusalem, Samaria, all of Judea and to the ends of the earth.  The ministry of Jesus from beginning to end was about sharing God’s good news.  He raised up a group of believers to continue the work; he trained them, empowered them, and sent them out.  Paul explains that we are all equipped differently to serve (some teach, others preach, there are different spiritual gifts) but every believer is to do the work of an evangelist.  Paul tells us to have the same mind in us that was in Christ Jesus, just as Jesus told his followers to continue doing the things they had seen him do.

Jesus public ministry was short, only three and a half years.  It ended the way it started – encouraging believers to share the Gospel and unbelievers to listen.  How long would someone have to listen to you before hearing the Gospel, or seeing examples of it?  Do you witness the Gospel in action at your church over and over again?  Before we copy and paste the name of Christ onto what we’re doing, make sure it’s what HE would do.

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One thought on “The Gospel 360

  1. Thanks for the challenge
    Everything we say and do _IS_ a witness – either a good witness or a bad witness.
    We are ambassadors and our Christ will be judged by what people see in us. Solemn thought.

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