14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!” — Mark 1:14-15
Jesus Preaches the Good News of the Kingdom of God
by Matt Pearson
Isn’t it interesting that the first thing Mark tells us Jesus does after John the Baptist was arrested is to go tell everyone how good God is??? “Hey Jesus, Your cousin was just thrown in jail for calling Herod out on one of his many sins!” Jesus’ reply—“Oh really!? That’s great! Let me go tell everyone about the goodness of God!”
Seems bizarre, doesn’t it? I would think Jesus would go and spend some time by Himself. I would think Jesus would wonder if God was really there or was concerned about all that was happening. I would think Jesus would think something like, “Man! What’s this world coming to!?!?” But He doesn’t. He sees it as time...His time.
Jesus knew John the Baptist had a job to do: point people to the Messiah. Once John had done that and his time was up, Jesus’ earthly ministry would commence. Getting word that John was jailed meant one thing for Jesus – it was time. Time for Him to heal, choose disciples, and preach. Time to make His journey to Jerusalem to be arrested, crucified, buried, and then resurrected. Time to make known what God was doing to make mankind right with Him again.
Jesus understood clearly what God sent Him to earth to do. He knew who He was and what He was tasked with. He waited until it was time and then proceeded with God’s plan. Jesus’ declaration pointed to Himself. Israel had been waiting for God’s Messiah. Israel had longed for God to rescue them. Jesus, when the time was right, said, “The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is near.”
In other words, His message was, “The time is now. I am the King of God’s kingdom. If you want to situate yourself under the reign of God it is found in coming to Me. Repent of your sins and see Me as your hope, Messiah, Savior, and Lord.” So not only did Jesus preach the Good News…He Himself WAS the Good News!
There is a massive difference between receiving news and receiving good news. News is hearing that the high temperature today was 98 degrees…a new record in Middle Tennessee! Good news is hearing that your yard is going to get an inch of rain overnight, after you have fertilized the grass. News is hearing that the stock market rose by a half of a percent. Good news is hearing that stock you own tripled in value in one day. News is hearing that your boss is giving raises to random people throughout the company. Good news is hearing that one of the raises belongs to you. It’s news when the teacher said she graded the tests. It’s Good news when yours has an “A” at the top.
Jesus came preaching Good news. Not just news. There is a difference. News is hearing God sent His Son to live a perfect life, die on a cross, and rise from the grave. Good news is hearing that He did that because He loves Y-O-U! Good news says that when you look away from yourself and put all your hope in the One whom God sent to establish His kingdom, you are forever a part of His eternal reign and rule.
- Jesus IS the Good News.
Not only did Jesus proclaim what God had done, Jesus Himself embodied God’s plan of salvation for mankind. Every other prophet (from Abraham and Moses all the way to John the Baptist) pointed to His arrival. When John goes to jail, Jesus said, “It’s time! It’s here! I am He! The King of God’s Kingdom is here! Believe on Me!”
What does this mean for you? It means to do what He said — “Repent and believe.” Turn away from sin. Turn away from yourself. Turn away from trying to do it on your own. Turn away from your past. Trust in the One God sent to make it possible. Trust in God’s means of salvation. Trust in the true King...not only over the whole world, but the One whom God designed to also rule your heart.
- The Message We Preach is the Same
We aren’t the good news, but we do proclaim the same message. We don’t say, “Look at us!” We say, “Look to Jesus!” This news was infinitely good 2,000 years ago and it is still powerfully good today. The news that God sent His Son to do for us what we could never do for ourselves is a game changer. The news that we are far more wicked than we could ever care to admit, but more loved than we ever thought possible brings freedom and joy and life. There is power in the gospel. It is news, yes. But it is really Good news because God so loved...the whole world.
- The News is Only Good News If...
I am not sure who said this first, but it’s true: “The gospel is only Good news if it gets there in time.” Jesus proclaimed it when it was His time. He brought the Good to the Good news. Someone made the Good news known to you and it went from being just news to really Good news. Thousands have yet to hear it. It will only be Good news to them if it gets there in time. What is keeping you from making it known right now? Really. What?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.