Forgiven By the Grace of Jesus

Now, after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the Good News.’  (Mark 1:14-15)

One Sunday morning, while having the flu, I decided to see what some of the television preachers might be saying. It wasn’t a comforting morning. Some of them seemed to be so angry. Jesus was coming back, and we had better repent right now or else. He knows every secret. There’s no escape from His scrutiny. Every sin will be broadcast. Our blackened souls will be revealed.

How is it that some people can preach so much bad news in the name of the One who came to bring “good news?”

In today’s scripture, Jesus came “proclaiming the good news of God.” Those are His first words, and they influenced and informed His whole ministry. That message of good news must be woven into everything the church says because we must be a community where good news trumps bad news.

As much as Jesus came to bring “good news,” sometimes He had to give the bad news first. He doesn’t preach bad news in order to scare or manipulate us but to wake us up and call us back home to God.

For instance, before Jesus invites us to believe in the “good news,” He tells us to “repent.” The word “repent” means “turn around” or “change your mind.” If we refuse to ever change our minds or alter our behavior, being told to repent will not be good news.

Jesus encourages us to turn around when He sees that we’re headed towards danger, destruction, or death. His call to repent is for life, love, and joy.

What’s the good news? That we’re all the beloved children of God. That our sins can be forgiven by the grace of Jesus Christ. That we’re never alone. With Jesus’ help, we can make a difference for good in this world and for His Kingdom.

With all that, and so much more, being the good news Jesus came to share, why would any Christian want to major in the bad news?

Reflection Questions:

  1. What’s the Good News Jesus speaks to you?
  1. Given that Jesus came preaching the Good News of His grace and love, why do you think some people seem so intent on proclaiming bad news?
  1. When people look at you, do they see more Good News or bad news? When they listen to you, do they hear more Good News or bad? Are there any adjustments from bad to good Jesus could be calling you to make?

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