Gospel Message and Gospel Mission
As believers we are called to be missionaries everywhere we go. We are called to live on mission. What does that mean and what does it look like?
36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Jesus the Living Gospel (vss. 36-43)
Lets look at the passage above. What are the first words of Jesus to the disciples after His resurrection? What would you expect His first words to be? These are the same men who denied, ran, and gave in to their despair; really they’re in unbelief. His first word is “peace.” The disciples are afraid; they think they’re seeing a spirit. Jesus has spoken “peace” to them but He goes a step further to calm their fears. He asks, “Why are you troubled, why do you doubt?” Jesus doesn’t tear them down; He doesn’t yell, “Why don’t you get it? I told you all this was going to happen!” He allows them to touch his hands and his feet. He is physical; He is real yet still very supernatural. This is His resurrected body. He goes a step further and asks them for food and they bring Him some broiled fish. I love that part, He is so aware of their need for comfort that He shows His physicalness by eating. He’s real and He’s alive and that’s good news.
The Gospel Message (vss. 44-46)
Like the disciples we need to be reminded over and over about the things that Jesus spoke, the Gospel message. Jesus is alive, right then and there He takes the disciples through a Bible study, showing that through “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” that the Gospel has always been there, that the events of the crucifixion were no accident or loss. He shows them that the cross has always been the plan. He came to die, to take the wrath we deserved, and He also came to be raised again from the dead. The Gospel is that you and I were born in sin, and it’s not just that we were sick with sin; the Bible tells us we were actually dead in our trespasses (Colossians 2:13). Our hearts didn’t just need healing we needed resurrection. Jesus, on the cross, bore the full outpouring of the wrath of God on our behalf. He died as the perfect Lamb of God and was buried and raised from the dead. So now, you might be adopted into the family of God by faith and grace alone.
This is the message that we’ve received, that we’re called to remember (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). This is the good news, the Gospel message, we can bring to people everywhere.
The Gospel Mission (vss. 47-48)
The two big themes of the Bible are the Gospel message and the Gospel mission. What’s the mission, what is He calling us to do? How is Jesus calling us to live? It’s not just about my own individual conversion; it’s not just about me. Fix me, fix my stuff, and make me happy! The good news of Jesus’ resurrection and his glorification is that He’s calling us to mission. He’s calling us to live our lives through the lens of the Gospel. Our lives, our money, our jobs, our education, and our relationships; literally everything is seen through that lens. Jesus Christ came, He died, He was buried, He was raised on the third day, and He ascended after appearing to nearly 500 people and one day He’s coming back. That frames my entire life.
The Gospel saves us from but it also saves us to. So the cross has saved me from the wrath of God, the cross has saved out of my sin but I don’t just sit there. I obey the call of Gospel mission from a position of rest. The implication of the resurrection that we see here is that the resurrection calls us to mission.
In verses 46-47 Jesus teaches that three things must occur according to Scripture, that Christ must suffer, that He should rise, and “that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Two of those things have happened. Jesus has suffered and He is risen. What remains to be done? The proclamation of the Gospel. What does Jesus say next, “you are my witnesses.” You and I are called to be witnesses. We are disciples of Christ, we are being called to live on mission.
What are some ways this can look?
Prayer. Pray for those around you. Look for crisis moments and pray.
Community and fellowship. Live your life in front of your friends, schoolmates or co-workers, and family as a witness. You are there to be salt and light. So get in people’s lives. Meet your neighbors, serve people with tangible needs, and be a light in the community God has sovereignly placed you in.
Proclamation. Proclaim the Gospel. Know that it’s not your job to convince anyone, trust the sovereignty of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work.
The Holy Spirit (vs. 49)
The reality of all of this is that we can’t do it. We need the power of the Holy Spirit. You see the Disciples here in Luke 24. To be blunt they’re a mess. They’re distraught, falling to pieces, and broken. So Jesus tells them to wait for the Holy Spirit. You need the Gospel message, you are called to proclaim that message on Gospel Mission, and to do so you need the power of the Holy Spirit.
So ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.