Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom…
The word gospel means good news. Jesus had good news He was taking around Israel, letting them know the kingdom of God was at hand. He had come to rule, just not like they were expecting. They wanted a king. His sword was His word. He taught them.
Why was teaching them important? That’s how disciples are made.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We are commanded to make disciples by teaching (what I am doing with this course), and Jesus shows how it is done.
What did Jesus teach? “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).
Jesus taught us that we have to obey what He said if we want to be wise. The end of that story is that the foolish man doesn’t obey and his house crashes down.
In order to obey what Jesus taught, we have to know what He said. Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is. He responded, “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” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Later in the New Testament, we read repeatedly that we are doing the whole law if we are loving one another. While you should look for Jesus’ commands about what you should be doing and do them, you can also hold this one thought, “Love others,” or what we call the Golden Rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. Loving God is included in that because we love God by obeying Him and loving others is what He commands us to do! Plus, we can never truly love others without God’s love in our hearts to give away. We need to know and love God and receive His love by His Holy Spirit in us in order to have the capacity to love others selflessly like we are asked to do. Being a Christian may be hard, but it is simple. Love. There it is.
And to help with the hard part, we have this wonderful promise: “I am with you always!”
Lesson Point: Jesus was a teacher and we need to listen to Him, which means hear and do what He says.
Challenge Question: Who do you have trouble loving? and/or When do you have trouble loving? Ask God for help.