The Gospel According to Jesus, Part 1

“[Jesus] said to them, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.’” – Luke 4:43

  1. What is the central theme of Jesus’ message?
    • Mark 1:14-15
    • Luke 4:43 (What’s the mission he was sent for?)
    • Luke 8:1
    • Luke 9:2,11,60
    • Luke 10:9-11
    • Luke 16:16
    • Luke 17:20-21 (The King embodies the Kingdom)
    • Matthew 4:17,23
    • Matthew 24:14
    • Acts 1:3 (Even after his resurrection, what was he speaking about?)
  1. What is the significance of Jesus being the descendant of David (Luke 1:31-33; 1 Timothy 6:13-16)?
    • Matthew 1:1
    • Matthew 12:23
    • Matthew 20:30-34
    • Matthew 21:9
    • Luke 4:18-19 (“The Lord’s Anointed,” 1 Samuel 24:6) – Who is Jesus identifying as? What does it mean to be anointed?
    • John 7:40-42
    • Revelation 22:16
  1. What is the scope of the Kingdom Jesus proclaimed?
    • Luke 2:29-32
    • Isaiah 42:6-7, 49:6
    • John 8:12, 10:16
    • Acts 13:47
    • Acts 26:23
  1. How did Jesus represent the Kingdom on the earth?
    • Matthew 4:23-25 – Power over illness
    • Luke 7:11-17 – Power over death
    • Luke 4:40-41, 11:14-23 – Power over the dark spiritual forces
    • John 16:33; Matthew 10:26-33, 11:28-30 – Power over the troubles of this world
    • Jesus on earth was showing what it will be like when Heaven and Earth are joined back together. The new creation was breaking into the old creation. God’s will was being done on earth as it is in heaven.
  1. Why do you think the term “upside-down kingdom” has been used to describe God’s Kingdom?
    • Luke 1:46-55
    • Matthew 5:2-12
    • Matthew 20:16,25-28; Luke 22:24-30
    • Matthew 23:8-12
  1. What would a man have to preach to cause his followers to leave absolutely everything behind to follow him, and to cause his detractors to plot and carry out his murder? What would a man have to preach to cause the ruling government to crucify him as a traitor? It would have to be much more than being a nice guy teaching about love, feeding the hungry and healing the sick…
    • Luke 2:10-11 (What do the words “Savior,””Christ,” and “Lord” mean?)
    • John 18:33-37
    • Acts 17:5-8 (Who is the true king?)

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The Gospel in the Prophets

“At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it…” – Jeremiah 3:17

  1. Israel’s rebellion from God leads them to desire a king like the nations of the world. How did this go against God’s original plan for them?
    • 1 Samuel 8:6-9
  1. God promises to re-establish his Kingdom through the lineage of Israel’s second king, King David (2 Samuel 7:8-16). But their overall rejection of God continues. Despite their rebellion, God never gives up on them for his overall mission to the rest of the world (1 Kings 3:6,8:56).
    • How does the vivid example given in Hosea 3:1-5 reflect God’s position with Israel?
    • What is Israel doing or not doing that makes God so angry?
      • Hosea 6:1-6
      • Isaiah 1:11-16
      • Isaiah 10:1-4
      • Jeremiah 2:29-37
  1. Ultimately, Israel’s unfaithfulness gave God no choice but to follow his own covenant and send Israel into exile, but he did it in a way to restore them and not undo the promise to bring a king through David. (2 Kings 17, 25)
    • Jeremiah 3:6-18
    • Isaiah 55:1-5
    • Isaiah 56:1-8 
  1. Why did the exiled people need continuous reminders from the Prophets?
  1. What role did the promise of a Messiah play in sustaining the Israelite community during exile?
    • Genesis 3:15
    • 2 Samuel 7:10-13
    • Isaiah 9:6-7
  1. God didn’t only send the Prophets to the people of Israel, but he sent them to all the kingdoms of the world around Israel, including the nations that God would eventually use to punish Israel like Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. How does this present God’s vision for his Kingdom?
    • 1 Kings 10:1-9
    • Jonah 3:4-10
    • Daniel 4:28-37
    • Esther 10:1-3
  1. What was John the Baptist’s role as the last prophet of the old covenant (Luke 16:16)?
    • John 1:19-34
    • Matthew 3:1-17
    • Luke 7:28-30
  1. The kingdom of Israel pointed forward to the coming of God’s eternal kingdom. What the prophets foretold has come about: God’s Kingdom is here! That day has come! How is the good news even bigger than most Jews realized in Jesus’ day? Who ended up being the subject of the promises?
    • Ephesians 3:1-6
    • Galatians 3:13-14
    • Isaiah 60:1-3
  1. While God’s Kingdom has deep roots with the kingdom of Israel, the scope and blessing of God’s Kingdom was always meant to go beyond any national border (Isaiah 2:2, 49:6). The promise of the Kingdom inheritance is not restricted to a national border or an ethnicity (Galatians 3:28-29). There is good news for the poor, liberty to the captives, sight for the blind, freedom for the oppressed (Luke 4:18-19). That’s the gospel of God’s Kingdom! And that’s the gospel Jesus proclaimed (Luke 4:43).

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The Gospel in Torah

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:2-3

  1. After the fall of Adam and Eve and the fall at the Tower of Babel, God chose Abram (Abraham) to be the father of a special nation (Genesis 12:1-3,22:15-18)
    • What do you notice about the blessing in these passages? Who receives blessing?
  1. Basic history: Abraham’s grandson Jacob is later renamed “Israel” by God (Genesis 32:28). One of Jacob’s 12 sons is sold into slavery, but eventually God establishes him as high-ranking official in Egypt. During a famine, Jacob’s family journeys to Egypt (with 70 people—see lesson #3) where Joseph ensures they are cared for. After over 400 years, a new Pharoah is in power, and the descendants of Jacob are no longer respected. They are subjected to harsh slave labor (Exodus 1:8-14). God raises up Moses as a deliverer. After many plagues, the Pharoah lets Moses’ people go, only to change his mind and pursue the fleeing people. God delivers the Hebrews through the waters of the Red Sea and crushes the Egyptians when they dare follow (Exodus 14:10-31).
    • God delivered his people out of this nation, a system of the world, and brought them into a nation of his own.
  1. He then gives them the Law, which totals over 600 different commands. However, it is not meant as a list of “dos or don’ts,” but rather a way of living that would be his shining example of his Kingdom to the world.
    • What do you think the world would look like if God’s reign was recognized by all?
      • Leviticus 19:9-18
      • Deut 15:1-11
      • Deut 16:18-20
    • How does this communicate the Kingdom of God?
      • Exodus 19:3-6
      • Leviticus 19:2
      • Deut 4:1-9
      • Numbers 24:1-9
    • Was the vision of God’s Kingdom meant to only impact Ancient Israel?
      • Leviticus 19:33-34
      • Exodus 12:38,48-49 (Numbers 9:14)
      • Numbers 14:21
    • How do the commandments ultimately point to Jesus?
      • Hebrews 9:11-28
  1. Israel’s relationship with God is a constant roller coaster of obedience and utter failure, but God was continuously faithful to his covenant promises. Why do you think God exercised such gracious and steadfast love for such a “stiff-necked” people (Exodus 33:3)? What encouragement does that give us today?
    • Exodus 34:6-7
    • Joshua 21:44-45
  1. Don’t miss what the Pharisees missed. Jesus summed up the heart of the Law with Matthew 22:37-40 – “And He said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” God doesn’t get mad at the Israelites for wearing a polyester blend or lighting a candle on the Sabbath. Rather, he gets mad at them when they aren’t loving God, when they aren’t loving their neighbors, and when they are being greedy, cruel, or unfair.
    • God’s laws in the Torah for his people were meant to bring them to an understanding of his love, grace and mercy. They were a shadow of the life to come under Christ the King—the ultimate sacrificial lamb who is seated at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:1-12).

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The Gospel at the End

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14

  1. What are the aspects of the Kingdom we’re still waiting for?
    • Return
      • Philippians 3:20-21 – Citizens of his Kingdom now but waiting for the return of the King.
      • James 5:7
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
      • Acts 1:9-11
    • Restoration
      • Acts 3:18-21
      • Romans 8:18-25
      • Deuteronomy 30:3
      • Isaiah 65:17-25
    • Re-inheriting of the nations
      • Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (see Gen 10:1-32, 11:9; Deut 4:19-20; Luke 10:1-20; Acts 2:1-13)
      • Psalm 82:8
      • Revelation 7:9-10; 22:1-5
      • Micah 4:1-7
      • Jeremiah 48:47 – Restoration is promised even for the Gentiles
    • Resurrection
      • 1 Corinthians 6:14
      • 1 Corinthians 15:12-23,47-58
      • Philippians 3:11-12,20-21
      • Acts 24:15
      • 1 Peter 1:3-5
      • Isaiah 26:19
    • Retribution
      • Genesis 3:15 – The end was proclaimed at the beginning!
      • Matthew 13:30,41-43,49-50
      • Psalm 82:1-8
      • 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
      • Daniel 12:2
  1. How does the Bible use creation language to point to the Kingdom coming in its fullness?
    • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 – Old creation has died; New creation has come.
    • Isaiah 43:18-19; 65:17
    • John 11:25-26
    • Ephesians 4:22-24
    • 2 Peter 3:13
    • Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5
  1. What does the Bible say about the Kingdom of God’s permanence and status over the kingdoms of the world?
    • Daniel 2:31-45; 7:14
    • Isaiah 9:6-7
    • 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
    • Revelation 11:15
  1. There are aspects of the Kingdom in its fullness we are eagerly waiting for, but we can still enjoy the blessings of the Kingdom now! Jesus’ Spirit lives within us (Romans 8:10-11). We spread God’s goodness through our community of believers to each other and those outside (Matthew 5:13-16, Galatians 6:10, 1 Peter 2:9-12). We have been raised with Christ and are seated with him in his Kingdom (Colossians 3:1-4, Ephesians 2:6, Philippians 3:20). We can rest in his eternal rule (Matthew 11:28).

(Click here for referenced Scripture printout.)