In this Gospel series we have focused a lot on the beauty of the Gospel, what it is (the amazing Good News of Jesus’ resurrection) what it does (gives us complete victory over sin) who it is for (a free gift for everyone!) but the Gospel doesn’t just leave it there. The Good News of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection doesn’t just call us to Jesus, but calls us into action. Namely that we should teach and obey the commands of Jesus.
When we read that statement there are a few questions that probably pop into our minds, whether we realize it or not, the first is: What are the commands of Jesus? Many of His teachings were spoken (and can be found through the gospel accounts - specifically the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. But Jesus' teaching goes so much farther than the words He spoke; the way He lived his life was His teaching as well. John 13:15-16 tells us “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[a] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”
When we look at the pattern of Jesus' life we see someone who deeply loved people, who desired to see their lives changed and moving toward a relationship with God. He welcomed questions, and challenged assumptions. He always pointed to the Father, He sought after the outcast, and helped the needy. He met both the physical and spiritual needs of those around them. We are called to not just follow the dos and don’ts of what Jesus said, but follow the heart of who Jesus was.
The second question we likely ask is what about the Gospel calls us to teach and obey? So often we can get it backward and think that we have to obey before we receive the Gospel. But that is totally wrong. Following Jesus commands is not something we do out of obligation so we can achieve what the Gospel has to offer. Obeying Jesus is something we do in response to the amazing gift that God has given us. The complete victory, the abounding free gift, the promise of eternal life in fellowship with Christ. When we have something that precious, we can’t help but share it with others.
The final question often asked is, isn’t it enough for us to just obey the commands of Jesus? Do we really have to teach them? Yes, because that is also what Christ commanded. In Matthew 28 Jesus commissions His followers to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Teaching isn’t just teaching a class, it is living our life in a way that models Christ. That is how Jesus made disciples. They followed in his steps (somewhat quite literally) they participated in ministry together. Also, they cooked together, worked together, and walked together. Jesus taught by how he lived, not just what he said. By obeying Christ’s commands we teach what Jesus taught.
Now that we have received the amazing gift of the gospel, we are compelled by that same good news to share with others the same gift.