Last Sunday we began a new teaching series called, “Don’t Have Ugly Feet.” The Bible says in Isaiah 52:7 and restates in Romans 10:15 that beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. In Romans 10:14-15, Paul says that no one will know the truth of the Gospel unless they are told. How can they? How did you first learn about Christ? One person, or multiple seed planters, waterers, and harvesters did their jobs along the way.
Many Christians believe that it is the job of the church evangelism team or those “gifted” in witnessing to share the Gospel. Maybe it is the “preacher” who has the responsibility. But all of us have been issued the Great Commission. However, each one of us will share the Gospel in vastly different ways. Some are gifted at one-on-one, scripture-by-scripture leading. But all of us have the opportunity to live the Gospel and display it for others to see.
In that verse in Romans it says that the message must be preached. See, it’s the preacher’s job, right? The word “preach” in Greek is kerysso, and it simply means to publish or proclaim openly something which has been done. You don’t have to be a preacher or pastor to do that! Then we also need to know what the “good news” is that we should preach. That phrase is the Greek word, euggelizo. It means to instruct men concerning the things that pertain to Christian salvation. We each have certain people with whom we are meant to share the Gospel. Each person will do it differently and reach different types of people in different ways.
In Isaiah 52:7, where this quote came from, the Hebrew that it was originally written in gives us even more insight. The word good (as in good news) is the Hebrew word towb. This is the same word that God used in the Genesis creation account – and the Lord saw that it was good. It means good, excellent, rich, valuable and present. It is made up of three Hebrew letters – tet, vav and beyt. In the ancient Hebrew these letters were pictures and had meanings and concepts attached to each letter. When we look at those we see a really neat picture of what is “good” to God.
The letter tet represented a clay basket or mud enclosure. Our flesh is our dirt and mud enclosure. The letter vav represented the tent peg used in the tabernacle to attach the curtains together – the curtains that formed the walls of the mobile sanctuary. Then beyt represented the household or the house of God. So, we see a picture that shows us that it is GOOD for our “dirt” to be attached and connected to His house. It is true that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Many think that this means the church is no longer relevant. However, towb shows us there is another part that is important to God – that our flesh stays connected together in His house. Our spirit is renewed the moment we receive Christ, but our dirt needs to spend a lot of time learning and growing.
When we look at the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, we see that Jesus’ command is consistent with how God assigns tasks. First, He blesses – all authority in heaven and earth are given to me. Why is the authority given to Him if we are the ones who have to go? When the authority is given to man directly, he messes it up. The authority is given to Christ. He purchased it. But we have been made joint heirs with Him.
Remember that the blessing is always about equipping for purpose. In Genesis 1, God blesses man and then gives and assignment. In Genesis 12, God blesses Abraham and then gives Him and assignment. In Luke 1, God blesses Mary and gives her an assignment. And here in Matthew 28, Jesus blesses us and… gives us an assignment. We are to go and make disciples of all nations. After the assignment He reminds us again that we have Him and His power and authority available to us to complete the task – I am with you always.
He also tells us how to do it. He said we are to teach the things that He taught. Jesus did address sin and wickedness, but it you were to break down by percentages, what Jesus spent His time teaching, you would find that 75% of what Jesus taught was love (for God and others), power and authority. I think the problem we have had in spreading the Gospel is that we’re gotten our mixture wrong. The Body of Christ as a whole has put too much attention on sin and wickedness and not enough on love. The greatest tool for us to spread the Gospel is to love people around us. That love will open up doors to share in ways that will be much more natural and effective.