I think there is nothing more fundamental to Christianity than the gospel. We can have creeds, confessionals, and statements of faith all trying to express what we believe to be true and basic to Christianity. Yet, all Christian agree essential to following Jesus is the gospel.
The gospel translates to "good news." In the world of Jesus, the good news was all about an event. Just like our news articles today, no matter if that is in an app or on tv, the news describes an event. In the world and culture of Jesus, this may describe the good news of a new Roman Emperor or a person running to declare the victory in battle. I believe this is not far off from what the gospel means in Christianity. Scot Mcknight described the gospel in a way that has stuck with me.
"The gospel is the announcement of who Jesus is and telling his story."
To announce who Jesus is is to say something similar to a messenger announcing the good news of the new Roman Emperor. To tell the story of Jesus is to tell the story of his victory. All of who Jesus is and his story is wrapped in the story and promises of God and his people Israel.
The gospel presents us with a unique problem. To proclaim the fundamental, basic, atomic like structure of our faith, we need to know Jesus and his story. To announce who Jesus is, we must know who Jesus claimes to be. In the gospels, we are confronted with Jesus and how he describes himself. In his actions and words, he declares his purpose, role, and vision of himself. Even the gospel authors are declaring who they declare Jesus to be. In fact, the whole reason we have books in the Bible called "gospels" is because they announce who Jesus is and tell his story.
Drawing from the words of Jesus, who do you say Jesus is? Is he a teacher? Is Jesus God? Maybe he was just a radical rabbi or a prophet? Is Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed king chosen by God?
I invite you to consider who Jesus is this week. Explore the gospels, talk with friends and mentors, pray that God would reveal who Jesus is. I promise in your wrestling the gospel will open up to you.
Next week, we will continue looking at the gospel, looking at who Jesus described himself to be in the gospels. So check back next Wednesday at noon.