As we learned last week, Jesus rebuked his disciples because of their unbelief and stubbornness of heart (ver. 14). After this, Jesus asked his disciples to preach the gospel. As we know, it is impossible for unbelievers to preach the gospel.
Thus, there are pre-requirements for disciples to preach the gospel.
First, they had to restore the faith in Jesus. If they would not see the Risen Jesus, if they would not believe Jesus Christ, they cannot preach the gospel. Second, they had to have trust in the LORD. In Matthew, Jesus spoke to his disciples, “All power given unto me in heaven and in earth.” We also have to show the trust in the LORD who has all power in heaven and in earth. If we don’t trust Him, we cannot share the gospel to anyone. Third, they should have joy. Their joys came from the Risen Lord. If they were in deep sorrow; if they were in deep worry for the future, they couldn’t preach the gospel.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will pour the faith to your heart. And you also restore the joy that comes from the Risen Christ.
2. What is the gospel?
I believe that ‘the gospel’ is one of the words you may hear at the church. What is the gospel? The gospel is good news. For example, these are good news: the blind will see; the hunger will be full; the sick will be healed. This is the case in spirit. It is good news: the spirit blind see the spiritual world; the spiritual hunger will be full and experience God.
Fall in 1990. I felt very lonely. Although I knew a number of people, I felt more loneliness. The loneliness became worse whenever I was among the many people. Thus, I remembered that I wrote the dairy: “Who is my friend? I kept thinking about my friends…Later I reached a conclusion that a real friend could have died for me. However, I was not sure whether I had such a real friend. I was not sure whether I became a real friend to others. That was my answer for my question: I didn’t have any friends. Thus I felt so loneliness.
The time was around my birthday. Friends of mine at the university celebrated my birthday. Sine this was the first time birthday party, I was very excited. They sang a song for me. After birthday party, however, I was so upset because my colleagues gave presents to other people, but not me. Although I was invited for the party, but the party actually was not for me. I just stayed there and paid the money for the food. That was the role and the reason why I was there. What did a birthday party look like? After I came to the dormitory, I thought again about the word, ‘friend’. Who was my real friend?
Someday, I read a novel book. What I was found in the book was, surprisingly, the real friend. I found that he would die for me. Indeed He died on the cross for me. I realized that Jesus was my friend although I wandered so much to find a real friend. It was good news for me. I heard the good news! The LORD was my friend. I heard the love of Lord who died for my sin. I didn’t recognize him although he was always with me. My life was changed after I met Him in person.
Gospel is the good news. It is hard for us to hold it in my mind. There is a tremendous joy, which should say and share with others. That is good news. That is the gospel. We will do preach it if we are full of joy in our mind.
Let’s read the book of Isaiah 61:1-3.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
Let’s read John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
It is good news. If you know who God is and who you are, you can hear it more clearly.
God loves us. God loves you and also surely me. God does not hate me, but hates my sin. God doesn’t curse on me. God waits for us for a long time. Thus the gospel is to know God. In other words, good news is ‘Jesus Christ’. The order of the LORD to preach the gospel is to preach Jesus Christ.
Jesus is our friend. Jesus is our groom. Jesus is our shepherd. Jesus is our medical doctor. Jesus is our rock, my fortress and my deliver. It is His commandment to preach Jesus. We should share Jesus with others whatever we do in our lives. Of course, the first commandment was for 11 disciples who were the body of the church. Thus, his commandment is for whole church. We are the body of the whole church. Thus, today’s passage is also for us. It was my prayer what our church should do for Jesus. I reached a conclusion what we should do what we do the best for God. As we shared this at the last Wednesday, God have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. God have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts to make artistic design for work and to make everything what God have commanded (Ex. 31:1-11).
What I wanted to share, God had a plan for us and gave everything.
What God wants us is to do is to perform His work with joy. Let’s do what we do the best for him. We should obey the commandment of the LORD, which is to preach the gospel; to share the good news with others. It is my prayer that whatever we do it should be for Him and also His glory. It is our prayer to preach the gospel.
When we preach the gospel what we have to know is that everyone may not like to hear it. As we read in the book of 1 Co. the message of the cross is foolishness for some body. To believe Jesus who died on the cross is foolish, but it is the power of God who are being saved. (1 Co. 1:18).
What we do is to preach the gospel. Our role is to plant the seed and to water it, but God made it grow. It is not our job to grow the seed, but to plant it.
I read a book and learned the fruit of the gospel. He was a famous singer in Korea. He became an ordained minister now. He said, ‘we can’t know the fruit of the LORD in a short period time. It took a long time for him to see the fruit of the gospel passing 25 years. He saw many movie stars and singers. When they were young, they all were brighten. After 25 years later their lives were so different whether they accepted Jesus as their Savior or not.
What we do is to preach the gospel. We pray that people who accept it is to live a new life in God.
Last thing we should know is the gospel is for everybody. This means that everybody needs the Lord. Everybody needs His grace. There is no exception. The Apostle Paul said that for all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God (Ro. 3:23). Jesus is the only way to lead us to reach the glory of God. We should preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
We should preach the gospel. First we have to hear the gospel. I pray that your life is fresh every day with the gospel of the LORD. I pray that we are the people who share the gospel with others with joy that God have given to us.