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This topic is adapted from the Bible Project YouTube channel. This is part 5 in the Bible Themes series.

If you’ve ever wanted to read an amazing story, you could look to a fairy tale or a novel, but how much greater is a story that is true? The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are exactly that- a true story about Jesus’ life and teachings while here on Earth. The word Gospel is translated from the Greek word “Euangelion” which means, “good news.” Let’s take a look at the way the phrase “good news” is used throughout the Gospels.

The Poem

In Isaiah 52, there is a poem. It begins with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The people of Israel, who were promised this fantastic land are wondering if God has abandoned them. This is because the people of Jerusalem had turned away from God. However, in verse seven, Isaiah says, “How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of the messenger who brings good news.” The feet are beautiful because they deliver the message that despite Jerusalem, Israel will still receive their King. Not only that, but he will return to Israel, take the throne, and bring peace.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who bring good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!

The New Testament

The New Testament consistently uses the phrase “good news” to announce a new king. The Gospels use it to describe all of Jesus’ teachings. However, there’s a number of stark differences between “traditional” ruling and the way God’s kingdom was to be ran. In a typical kingdom, it would be powerful, getting rid of anything in its way. In God’s kingdom, the greatest person was the weakest. They were a servant who loved and lived their lives in a way that honored God. They responded to evil by loving and forgiving their enemies; this was virtually unheard of.

The Arrival of the Kingdom

The Gospel goes on to tell another story. A roman officer came to Jesus and begged him to heal his servant. This man acknowledged Jesus in a way that had never been done- that he was not only announcing God’s kingdom, but He was the king. The word gets out about this man from Galilee who is healing people and has named 12 disciples which represent the 12 tribes of Israel. This makes Israel’s leaders feel threatened, so they decide to have Him killed. The incredible part? He let them. Through sacrificial love for his enemies, he died, rose, and began his enthronement. Jesus left his disciples with this:

Mark 16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Read Isaiah 52. What is the “good news” in this passage?
  4. Find some places in the New Testament that talk about the “good news”. Who used this phrase the most?
  5. In your own words, describe the “good news” of the Kingdom of Jesus.
  6. How does Christ’s death and resurrection fit in to his mission of bringing a new kingdom to us? How is this an upside down kingdom?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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