The answer to that question seems obvious, but it’s not . These days it seems the gospel can be about almost anything. Some think of the gospel as a morality, a code of life. Adopt the code and you’ve got the life. Some think the gospel is a therapy. It’s good for what ails ya; the soothing solution to emotional and relationship issues. Some think the gospel is a prosperity. To them it means that God makes those who trust Him rich — your best life now. And others see the gospel as a cultural agenda for revolutionaries & nationalists; it’s God’s big stick for political justice.
There’s something about each of these versions of the gospel that is true. But look at Mark 8:27-33 to discover the gospel’s core.
The Gospel is the Good News about Jesus Christ (Mark 8:27-33)
It’s about who He is.
Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” And Peter replied: “You are the Christ”. (:29), the One who was to come: the Seed to rescue us from the curse (Gen. 3:15 ), the Seed who would bless all the families of the earth (Gen. 12:3), the prophet who would lead us to God, (Deuteronomy), the King, son of David, who would reign in peace and righteousness (2 Sam. 7).
Jesus confirms Peter’s confession in verse 31 when He called Himself “the Son of Man”, a name under the old covenant reserved for the Messiah to come.
Then Jesus said: “On this rock I will build My church”. The Church is build on something bigger than Peter. It is built on the conviction, arrived at by revelation from God, that Jesus of Nazareth is Messiah, the Christ. The church Jesus is building therefore revels by grace in the person and the work of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is also about what Jesus did.
In verse 31 Jesus declares “I am the Christ who dies” that “the Son of Man MUST suffer many things, etc” The very idea was blasphemy to the first century Jewish mind. That’s why Peter began to rebuke Jesus (32). But Jesus is like no other King. Jesus brought His kingdom with humility and sacrifice. He “humbled Himself in obedience all the way to the cross” (Phil. 2: 5-9) This majestic Christ-Messiah, not only came into our world, but willingly came into our sin, in order to cancel God’s curse against us. (2 Cor. 5:21).
Jesus is also ” the Christ who lives.” Verse 31 tells us that “after three days (He MUST) rise again.” Hebrews 2:14-15 remind us that Christ defeated death with His death and set f ree from the fear of deatheveryone who trust their lives to Him.
Christ’s death was so strong that He could take away the sin of world. His life was so strong that He gives life and a perfect record to all who believe.
This is the gospel. It is the good news about Jesus Christ. And this is the Christ who says, “Follow Me.”