In Mark 1 (also Matthew 4) Jesus began his public ministry. Before healing the sick or calling disciples, Jesus preached his first sermon:
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.” (Mark 1:14-15, ESV)
Jesus preached the gospel. Gospel is one of those words we borrowed from Greek when translating the scriptures. It means good news. You can easily recognize Christians that share the gospel by one simple test: is what they are sharing good news? At the first opportunity, Jesus preached the Gospel. He did not preach a four part message series on having a happy marriage or managing a successful business. The Bible has a lot to say about marriage, business, raising children and so forth. But those things are not of the most importance. Where Jesus spent the balance of his time and energy was on spreading the gospel. Continue reading →
I’m going out on a limb here. Maybe it’s getting late and this will just be the Diet Pepsi talking, but I would like to share a thought.
I recently met a blogger named Joe Derbes, author of Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion. I don’t know how much of an influence Michael Spencer was to him, but his blogroll credits Michael with being his new favorite Christian author. I have certainly said before that I blog because of Michael Spencer. I know that one student of Mr. Spencer says the same thing. How many others are there? The Internet was teeming with tributes to Michael in the days following his passing. How many people out there blog, or perhaps blog with a different message or purpose, as a direct result of the original Internet Monk?
I can’t write a new post without considering how Michael would evaluate that installment. I miss the constructive criticism; he made me a better writer. He helped shaped my current view of systematic theology. And tonight I can’t help but think of this: that’s kind of like Jesus. Jesus taught multitudes of people, and 12 in particular were privy to special teachings, prayers and examples. Jesus taught them, told them to follow in his footsteps, and then left them. Two of the disciples wrote Gospels (and perhaps Mark was dictated by Peter). Peter lead the others in starting the Christian church at Jerusalem. Paul did just about the same thing. He planted churches across Asia minor and southern Europe, training leaders and then moving on. His letters to Timothy still guide church leaders today.
That’s the Christian model. A teacher, a pastor, a blogger – in this case – not only does his job but teaches others to do the job as well. Even as Paul was ministering he was training others to be ministers. Even during his earthly ministry Jesus sent the Apostles out to preach and work miracles. When the human life is spent the work continues. The church grows. The gospel goes forth. We need to think now about the future generation of leaders that will be following our lead. Heaven and earth will pass away but the Word of the Lord endures forever.
A week or two ago, this blog passed 100,000 page views. It’s because of Michael Spencer that I blog at all. I used to read InternetMonk and occasionally make a comment, and I was fine with that until his pod cast started. When I got my first iPod, I downloaded the first 20 episodes of iMonk Radio, and ate those things like candy until I finished them. I had so many thoughts, ideas and responses running around my head that I went to WordPress and started pushing buttons. March will be two years. Continue reading →