Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Gospel 7

We look today and tomorrow at two formative texts for seeing what Jesus means by “gospel”. Today we begin with Mark 1:14-15, a text that is comprehensive.

Mark 1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, ???The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.???

1. The gospel is something announced: “preached.”
2. The gospel is a statement about time and history: the long-awaited promises and expectations we find in the Torah and Prophets have reached their intent and their realization. (Analogy: the way manual typewriters reach their intent in — not a PC (who is John the Baptist, the bridegroom) but an Apple.)
3. The gospel is about the kingdom of God being near or in the process of realizing itself or on the verge of arriving … however you read this. One of the big issues here is the partial but not complete arrival of the kingdom in Jesus.
4. The gospel implies two kinds of response: turning from sin and self to Jesus and believing in him and his message about the good news of the kingdom.
5. Once again: Jesus’ gospel is a kingdom gospel.

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posted October 1, 2008 at 7:36 am

Indeed, the response described in # 4 represents a completion of the gospel. People do turn from self and sin and toward Jesus. People do place their trust in Him. Just having Jesus to turn to and to believe in is good news.

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posted October 1, 2008 at 8:24 am

It seems that we evangelicals tend to focus on the not yet element of the kingdom gospel more than the now element. Incidentally, this sounds like the argument of those who would like to be more missional in their evangelistic approach.

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posted October 1, 2008 at 9:08 am

Samuel #2-
You are right about that, and I think the “near” element causes confusion.
Part of that confusion is the “time…fulfilled”/ “Kingdom…near” wording.
What is actually fulfilled? What is meant by “time”.
Much of this has Isaiah, Jeremiah (a lot of “time” wording), and Daniel in mind, but is it actually fulfilled if it is just “near”? The “time” is now, the “Kingdom” soon?
Scot wrote in the “Kingdom” series on this passage:
“1. Mark assumes that his readers know what ???kingdom of God??? means. We can assume that he means the kingdom as expected in the Old Testament and Judaism.
2. The kingdom message is the gospel message (v. 14 ties to v. 15).
3. When Jesus says ???is near??? he means ???on the horizon.??? This word does not mean ???already arrived??? but on the verge of arriving. There is a subtle difference here but we should maintain it. There is an eschatological expectation here: the Big Day is about to arrive!”
I understand was Scot was saying. However, since Jesus was the Good News (as stated earlier in this series), was not His simple arrival the actual start of the Kingdom (“fulfilled”, rather than “on the horizon”)?
I imagine those listening to Jesus at that time were curious on how that was going to take place since he did not hype himself, he did not seem to have resources, and since their political/societal situation was under Rome’s thumb. Some must have imagined things were going to get messy for this to take place.
I mention this because the current talk of Kingdom and mission now is great, but I worry that it will lead to disappointment when it appears things are not changing for the better (Good News). Perhaps we (I’m speaking to myself too) need to better understand that things today also need to get messy.

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posted October 1, 2008 at 6:23 pm

On point #2 – Apples predate PCs and thus must equate to JB.
Manual typewriter –> Apple II (1977) –> PC (1981). Unless you use PC in generic form, in which case an Apple is a PC…confusion reigns.
We had an Apple II at home in the late 70’s. I’ve graduated to PCs.

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posted October 10, 2008 at 2:17 am

In the Blogosphere « Kingdom People

[…] Scot McKnight’s series on biblical use of the word “gospel” continues. How did John the Baptist use the term? How is Jesus’ gospel Christ-centered? How does the gospel relate to the kingdom? The kingdom gospel is centered upon Jesus. What do Jesus’ actions tell us about the gospel? The gospel is to be preached.? How does the gospel relate to Jesus’ call to self-sacrifice? Will preaching the gospel bring opposition? […]

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