“He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24.44-49
Every gospel ends differently. John’s Gospel really goes in depth into the interaction between Jesus and Peter. Matthew’s Gospel explains deeply the Great Commission, and a part of Mark’s Gospel ends with the open tomb and in addition includes the Great Commission and the Ascension. Although this is not the identical end of Luke’s Gospel, it is similar.
Here in the Gospel of Luke we find Jesus meeting with his disciples in the upper room, explaining to them every thing that was written about him in the Scriptures, and defining the core meaning of his message — “The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations.”
Then Jesus says, ”You are witnesses of these things,” and these disciples will be given a helper (the Holy Spirit) what God the Father has promised. These six verses near the end of Luke’s Gospel give a very tidy summary of the whole of the Gospel of Jesus’ mission and purpose for coming and further work that has to be done. He came, he lived, he died, he rose again.
The Gospel news is good news. Gospel, meaning good, suggests positive things are in store. In light of the modern world conflicts, wars and evils, the Lord continues to pour out his good news. Imagine being present when Jesus ”opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Imagine if he did this for everyone this very hour. Then the good news would have an even greater effect and impact on our world and our lives.
It’s easy to sink into the bad news of the day. We see it, hear it and read it at every turn. But the only news that truly matters isn’t what USA Today or the New York Times produces, it’s what God says. His words are eternal along with our souls. The Gospel News must be the news of the day. It must command importance in our very existence and take root in our very hearts.
Let the good news of the Gospel reign in your mind today. Repel the temporal mess of evil, the distraction of defeat and the subtleties of sin — trade it all for the Gospel of peace. Focus upon the resurrected Jesus and allow Christ to rule the day.
“O Lord God, I get caught up in the bad news of what’s happening in our world. Not that we can or should ignore it completely, but we should believe God’s new first and foremost. Your news should reign in our hearts. We should welcome with rejoicing the resurrection Christ and the promise of the Holy Spirit. Come now, Lord, help us find maturity in you. Help us turn to your power and trust in your word. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen