Spreading the Good News

MEMORY SELECTION: “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” —Luke 24:47,48


IN ISAIAH 61:1,2 there is a prophecy concerning Jesus and his mission. Jesus, in Luke 4:18,19,21, quoted the prophecy and applied it to himself. The prophecy as recorded in Luke reads: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because he hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. … This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

Jesus was faithful to this commission. As he began his ministry of preaching the good news of the Gospel, he buttressed his message and gave substance to his authority by performing many miracles. We read in Luke 4:37, “And the fame of Him went out into every place of the country round about.” The people found much comfort in his message, and in one instance they endeavored to detain him, but he said, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.”—Luke 4:43

His ministry was organized in such a way as to make the best use of his time and talents. In his day there were no newspapers, radio, or television. Advertising was done by word of mouth. In Luke 9:52 we read: “And [He] sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him.” And in Luke 10:1 we read, “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.”

In Psalm 40:9,10 there is a prophecy of Jesus and his faithfulness to his commission: “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within My heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy loving-kindness and thy truth from the great congregation.”

The apostles had a peculiar responsibility in the dissemination of the Gospel. They had been with the Lord throughout his ministry and had heard firsthand the message of truth. And though they did not understand all they heard while they were with the Lord—for they had not yet received the Holy Spirit—the Lord God had made a special arrangement for them. In John 14:25,26 we read: “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

In his wonderful prayer recorded in the 17th chapter of John, Jesus indicates the responsibility that was given to the apostles. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word: that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me.” (vss. 20,21) The thought is that the apostles, by preaching and recording those things that Jesus had taught them, would gather new converts, who in turn would have the responsibility of preaching the Gospel. The Apostle Paul states in I Corinthians 9:16,17: “For necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel! … A dispensation [stewardship] of the Gospel is committed unto me.”

This same stewardship is conveyed to each footstep follower of Jesus down through the Gospel Age. In II Corinthians 5:19,20 we read: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” And in continuation of this thought, he states, “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace [favor] of God in vain.”—II Cor. 6:1 (see also Rom. 10:13-17).

Dawn Bible Students Association
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