Jesus Creed

In Luke 7 the following events are reported: Jesus heals the centurion’s son, he raises the widow’s son, he has words for John the Baptist about who he is and who John is, and Jesus is anointed by a sinful woman — and it set off a firestorm by a Pharisee and Jesus explained what forgiveness and love were all about. Then Luke says this:

1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

First, the “proclaiming of the good news of the kingdom of God” was what Jesus did wherever he went, which means the stuff in chp 7 is “gospel” work. His gospel was the gospel of the kingdom: that is, the proclamation of the society in which — through him — God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. As his teaching unfolds, that kingdom is both present in Jesus and yet to be consummated gloriously in the future.
Second, also then is the inclusion of the Twelve and the liberated women in his entourage. Gospel work for Jesus involves expanding those who can extend his gospel to others.
Third, immediately after this passage Jesus tells the parable of the sower about his preaching and the four kinds of responses to his gospel preaching. Parable telling and gospel preaching are connected intimately. That is, the “secrets” of the kingdom of God in Luke 8:10 and the “gospel” of the kingdom need to be connected: gospel preaching is attended by the goodness of God to awaken folks to respond to the gospel.

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