Image by Christo Anestev from Pixabay
“There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.” – Thomas Merton
Listen to my song “God Is” on YouTube by clicking HERE.
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.
What do you think the “gospel of the kingdom” is?
I bet there are a multitude of different answers to that question from people who identify as Christian.
Do you think this gospel (which means “good news”) was fire and brimstone, that if you aren’t good you’ll be cast into hell?
Jesus practically never talked about such a thing according to scripture.
Yes, you can find a few quotes that you can interpret as such, but you can also interpret them as ways to shake people out of their complacency.
Jesus often spoke in such exaggerations which was typical of Jewish rabbis of the time.
If we all are facing such a serious judgement from a harsh and condemning God, don’t you think Jesus would have been harping on it all the time?
Instead, Jesus focused on love and forgiveness.
He said the greatest commandments were to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-39).
Since he also commanded us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), don’t you think God would as well?
Jesus told us that God was like the loving and forgiving father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).
Jesus reflected God in his handling of the woman caught in adultery.
He didn’t threaten her with hell-fire, but said that he did not condemn her (John 8:2-11).
The ultimate reflection of God was when Jesus forgave his killers from the cross when they had not even asked for forgiveness (Luke 23:34)!
The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of God’s unconditional love.
That’s what changes hearts, not threats of eternal damnation.
That’s why Jesus was so moved seeing the crowds of people who “were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Jesus realized that they didn’t know that, despite their troubles, they were deeply and eternally loved by their Creator.
People are still in desperate need of hearing that message.
Please share it!
Listen to the song of the day “God Is” on the Give Praise and Thanks album by clicking HERE.
Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.
Purchase my new book “Listen to Your Heart: A Daily Devotional of Calling, Purpose and New Life” on Amazon by clicking HERE.
Purchase my book “Mercy Reigns: A Daily Devotional of Compassion, Comfort and Healing” on Amazon by clicking HERE.
Remember: God loves you!