Do Good, But Start with and Never Forget the Priority of Proclamation

Thursday is for Discipleship

In the book Follow Me: Experiencing the Loving Leadership of Jesus,  Jan David Hettinga, writes:

“Jesus did not call the cross or His death and resurrection the good news. For Jesus, the kingdom was the good news. The magnificent work of the cross is the beginning. Atonement, reconciliation, redemption, justification, and propitiation are all essential ingredients of the gospel, but the theme of the good news is the rest, freedom, peace, and high investment value of living life under the leadership of the Sovereign Lord of heaven & earth.” [Emphasis added.]

I love this quote, but I have seen it misused in such a way as to somehow diminish the priority of proclaiming what might be called “the data points” of the gospel (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Mark 1:14-15). 

The “rest, freedom, peace and high investment value of living under the leadership of the Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth” is only gained through the proclamation of the gospel verities that people come to believe in after they have or as they are repenting and believing in the gospel.

This is at least part of the reason why Mark describes Jesus ministry in chapter 1 as “Healing the man with an unclean spirit (1:21-28), healing many (1:29-34) and cleansing a leper (1:40-45), but he summarizes Jesus’ ministry as going everywhere and preaching “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (1:14-15)

Both are necessary. They are companions. City transformation and justice? Yes, AND gospel proclamation, together. Neither substitutes for the other and neither survives separately.

Adapted from my response to another post.

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