If there is only one gospel, which gospel was being preached in Luke 9:6 which preceded Luke 18:31-34.

Then Jesus took the Twelve aside and said to them, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything the prophets have written about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will flog Him and kill Him, and on the third day He will rise again.”

But the disciples did not understand any of these things. The meaning was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend what He was saying.

The apostle Paul says (1 Cor 15:1-4) that the gospel, by which we are saved, is...

1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

The gospel in Luke 9:6 would ostensibly have nothing to do with death, burial and resurrection of Jesus since that had not yet occurred.

So what was this other gospel that was being preached by the disciples?

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    I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Gal. 1:6–9)
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 21:16
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    I think this is truly excellent question - very penetrating. +1.
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 21:31
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    @Dottard Thanks for helping turn a good question into a great one. :) Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 22:31
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    "The apostle Paul says (1 Cor 15:3, 4) that the gospel …", but I don't see any use of the word "Gospel" there, so how can you claim that Paul is talking about "the gospel"? How is this scripture relevant to the question? ¶ Similarly, Luke 18 doesn't use that word either. Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 20:27
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    Though there is only one gospel, it has been verbalized in different ways at different times. In LK 9 they did not yet understand the means of the gospel (the cross) but they knew the result of the gospel (God dwelling with man). "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life" is a childish and incomplete statement concerning the Gospel. Dottard does a great job of expressing some of it's depths.
    – Bob Jones
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 12:33

8 Answers 8


It is unarguable that the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ is foundational to the gospel (or 'good news') that Christians proclaim. But as you said yourself in your comments, "The gospel in Luke 9:6 would ostensibly have nothing to do with death, burial and resurrection of Jesus since that had not yet occurred." Which is why the gospel the disciples shared in Luke 9:6 was, basically, the good news that the long-awaited Messiah had arrived. As healing was part of the proof of the Messiah (foretold in the ancient Hebrew scriptures), healing accompanied their message.

Recall that John the Baptist had prepared the people for the Messiah's ministry by calling them to repent and be baptised. This, too, fulfilled the ancient prophecies about the coming Messiah. Only if people responded in faith would they be prepared to receive the message Christ brought.

Going further back in time, people of faith like Abraham and Moses had glimpses of the future good news of the glory to be revealed (in Christ). See Hebrews 11:4-26.

Clearly, there was progression of understanding as time revealed more and more about how God's kingdom would have the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, as its King. Once Christ arrived and began his ministry, those who put faith in him learned more and more about this glorious good news. Luke's gospel account opens up with, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets..." But despite Jesus telling them (on three occasions) that he would suffer, die and be raised, they could not understand that until after it had all happened. THEN the glory of the risen Christ illumined their understanding and their message.

So, to stick purely to your question (though far more could be said as to what the whole gospel message is), pre-resurrection gospel preaching was pointing to Christ as the foretold Messiah; post-resurrection gospel preaching included the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ as proof positive that he truly is the Messiah, the King of God's Kingdom.

It only remains to be said that, in actuality, the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7) in all its fullness is everything about Christ in the entire Bible. He is the beginning, the middle and the end of the gospel. He is the King of God's kingdom, so if you want to understand what the kingdom of God is all about, you have to understand exactly who Jesus is. That is why false gospel messages are preached by those who have a false understanding of who Jesus is. That is why what is revealed about Christ in the last book of the Bible is just as much about the gospel as is John the Baptist's preparatory gospel message. After all, that book starts by saying "The revelation OF Jesus Christ" - it's all about who Jesus Christ is now, after his ascension. We see him depicted in kingly power in heaven, and learn of further ancient scripture prophecies he fulfills. That is why all who claim they have had revelations about Christ after that last book of the Bible was written, turn out to be false prophets with a false gospel.

Everything we need to know about the gospel is in the Bible, and the first bits of information start in the book of Genesis (3:15), the final bits being in the last book of the Bible, which prepares believers for his stupendous return to deal with all those who refuse to obey the everlasting gospel proclaimed by an angel, just before Christ descends in judgment (Rev. 14:6-7). But those who obey the basic element of the gospel (to repentantly put faith in Christ) can progress to a fuller understanding of the gospel. And the more the Bible is heeded, in all it has to teach us about Christ, the greater our grasp of the gospel will be.


As alluded to in one comment, systematic theology has an answer to this question - and this answer may differ from that, therefore is for consideration, and requires you to be aware of this.

The ‘Gospel’ means ‘good news’ - and this term is a New Testament term. The ‘Gospel’ is the means by which man can receive righteousness. Man lost his righteousness via Adam, but can once again attain it via Jesus. And it is Righteousness that brings ‘[eternal] Life.

There are at least three different gospels that make righteousness available to man. The first is the Gospel of the Kingdom that John the Baptist heralded, and Jesus offered, up until the Jews rejected Him as Messiah - and, the Kingdom needs Jesus as King. Any ‘righteousness’ needs Him. This Gospel was for the Jews

MAT 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people

This is the Gospel that the disciples were preaching. They were ‘disciples’ of Jesus, who was preaching that Gospel

The second Gospel is the Gospel that Paul preached. Note - He received this directly from Jesus, in his time spent in Arabia. He purposely did not consult the disciples on this, as they had the Gospel of the Kingdom, which was for the Jews.

ACTS 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.


Gospel / εὐαγγέλιον simply means "good news" and predates Christianity as a general Greek term, so can be understood in a variety of ways depending on the context. After Jesus the term began to accrue increasingly specific theological meaning, particularly as defined by Paul, but that doesn't mean this would be how Jesus or the Apostles would ever have intended the term in the Gospels.

In the text of Luke, the εὐαγγέλιον is introduced by Jesus in what has been described as his 'Kingdom Manifesto' in Luke 4:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Luke 4:18‭-‬19 CSB

Jesus reiterates the term later in the same chapter, specifying that the good news was of the 'Kingdom of God':

But he said to them, “It is necessary for me to proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because I was sent for this purpose.”

Luke 4:43 CSB

And from here onwards Jesus' teaching centres on the Kingdom of God, including many of the parables captured in Luke. So when the disciples were preaching the "good news", it would have been about the Kingdom of God and that it had arrived on earth.


We have to understand that Jesus came to be a "Messiah-King" to the Jews as prophesied in the Old Testament. In light of this we must consider the first stage of Jesus ministry, as given in Matttew 4:17, preaching about the "Kingdom of God/Heaven- to the Jews only[since He was born, raised and travelled to preach this "Kingdom" message- we can say -the gospel of the kingdom of God (Mark1:15)to only the inhabitants of the the country-particularly to Israel people]. When the Jews rejected or does not heed to His message, He started His mission of saving the sinful world by His death on the cross(this we can find in "Matt 16:21"-which shows the gradual change). Before His death and the resurrection, there could not be any preaching on the "gospel of the grace of God". So there is quite a difference between the "Gospel of the Kingdom of God- preached till His death and resurrection and the "Gospel of the grace of God- which includes the death and resurrection of the Lord. We can say there are two aspects in His First Coming -to be a Messiah-King to the Jews and a Saviour to the entire world as well as in His Second coming- Rapture and coming with the Church on to Mount Olivet. So we can rightly assume- the disciples preached "the gospel of the Kingdom of God"- before the death and Resurrection of Jesus and then "the Gospel of the Grace of God" The verse John 1:17- the "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ"- was effectual only after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 3:10

If there is only one gospel, which gospel was being preached in Luke 9:6 which preceded Luke 18:31-34.

Short Answer

The same gospel. Jesus was preaching different aspects of the same gospel in both Luke 9:6 and Luke 18:31-34

Long Answer

We've got some explaining to do...

As the OP correctly assessed there is only one Gospel as one might gather from Paul:

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. -Galatians 1:6-9

As far as Paul is concerned anyone who preaches a different Gospel from the gospel of Christ is to be accursed. So it's highly unlikely that Paul was teaching a gospel any different than what Jesus taught.

So why the confusion about which gospel is which?
I can identify two closely related fundamental reasons why various accounts of the gospel seem so confusing to most readers:

  1. We thought we could get a simple, precise, and definitive soundbite summary of the gospel from Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.


  1. Consequently, we didn't really know what the gospel was in the first place.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying people don't know about the good news regarding the salvation that has been made available through Jesus Christ. Everyone has varying degrees of understanding about that.
It's that we didn't really know how to identify the gospel in its entirety - the big picture that Jesus and Paul both had in mind when they spoke of the same gospel in varying ways from varying vantage points.

What Paul actually says 1 Corinthians 15:3-4,

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

What Paul actually says in the beginning of verse 3 could be translated more literally as "For I delivered to you among firsts (or among things of first importance) what I also received..."

This is a noteworthy distinction. Instead of Paul describing the following facts as THE most important with respect to the gospel, Paul states that the following facts that he's about to list are AMONG the things that are most important. Paul was not trying to provide a succinct summary of the Gospel as he implicitly acknowledges that there are other things that also rank first in importance. Instead, he is specifically highlighting this chain of events not simply because they are absolutely necessary for there to be any good news at all, but because they directly contradict the specific misconceptions and heresy regarding the bodily resurrection he intended to address in the rest of chapter 15.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? - 1 Corinthians 15:12

Again it's not about providing a soundbite summary. He wanted to remind the Corinthians about the Gospel in this specific and critical regard so he could proceed to disabuse them of their nonsense as he had done throughout the first letter to the Corinthians.

So how is the Gospel described as a whole?
We all know gospel means good news and as we already saw in the Galatians chapter 1 verse 7, Paul described it as the "gospel of Christ." Being that he referred to it as the gospel of Christ and not of Paul perhaps we should let Christ explain to us what this good news is all about.:

but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” -Luke 4:43

This is how Jesus ultimately describes the gospel: as good news about the kingdom of God. Indeed announcing the good news of the kingdom of God is integral to his very purpose on Earth and all that he said and did leading up to his crucifixion. If we take Jesus seriously and truly want to have a handle on what the gospel is, we need to try to understand it from within the kingdom framework with which he understood it.

Ok, so what's the good news of the kingdom of God?
If I had to pick one verse then to summarize the gospel of the kingdom of God in its entirety, according to Jesus, it would be from the Lord's Prayer:

9 ...“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

In verse 10 Jesus seems to be employing Hebrew parallelism where what he says is so nice, he had to say it twice, but in a different way so as to drive the point home. For God's kingdom to come, to Jesus, is for God's will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Think about what that means for the fullness of God's will to do be done on Earth just as it is in heaven: No sin. No pain. No sickness. No death. What would be required to bring this about would be nothing less than a new creation: A complete spiritual and physical renovation of the cosmic order.
This is exactly what is described at the end of Revelation:

Revelation 21:1-4 ​1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new...” - Revelation 21:1-5

Consider the last kingdom of God
In the garden of Eden where God created man in his image as a biological class of ruling representatives over all of God's creation.

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” -Genesis 1:27-28

That kingdom was lost because God's firstborn human, Adam, disobeyed. So in order to have the good news of a new creation kingdom, God needed a new firstborn human, a new Adam who, through obeying to the point of death, earns the right to rule over God's new creation not just for himself, but also for all his brothers and sisters who will rule the kingdom with him in everlasting glory... judging angels and whatnot (1 Cor 15:20-21, Romans 5:12-20, Phil 2:8-11, Heb 5:7-10, 2 Tim 2:12a, Rom 8:16-18, 1 Cor 6:3)

So the gospel is a pretty big narrative including a lot of moving parts, but they all fit inside this New Creation Kingdom concept, where God rescues the creation (Rom 8:19-23) by raising up his perfect and now proven image and, in the process, lift up his formerly fallen human images who will all rule his creation in righteousness and obedience unlike before.

19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. -Romans 8:19-24

Because the perfectly faithful Christ has ultimate rule over creation, even if one of God's images sins all of creation will not be lost the way it was before due to the sin of the first Adam (not Eve) because the New Adam, Jesus, never sins.

So scoping back down to Luke

In Chapter 18:31-34, Jesus was trying to mentally prepare his disciples for what must be accomplished for him to earn the right to rule God's coming kingdom and blaze a path (as the Way) for humanity from this creation to the next.

In Chapter 9:6, he and his disciples are announcing the reality of God's coming kingdom and preparing the heart of the people for their role in the kingdom for God as co-rulers with Christ where power is given not to those who pursue power and gain in this creation, but to those who are patient and nobly seek out the righteousness of God in the new creation. The healings themselves are a message, a foretaste of God's intention to physically renovate and refresh God's people and the whole world.

When we apply the new creation kingdom framework
to the gospel as discussed in the scriptures, it's easy to understand how all of what Christ did and spoke and what Paul spoke was all about that gospel which is far grander than any story ever told.

  • A lovely answer, though I would query whether your phrase (3rd last para) implying that Christ has "to earn the right to rule God's coming kingdom" is as spot-on as the rest of your answer.
    – Anne
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 16:13
  • @Anne, thank you for your positive feedback. Informing that line I had in mind Phil 2:8,9 & Hebrews 5:7-10 where it seems clear that Jesus was exalted because of his obedience - he had to be obedient to be exalted - and this obedience had to be learned in order to be saved, perfected as a source of salvation, and designated as high priest by God. I interpret the fact that his exaltation and designation and even his salvation were based on the obedience he had to learn, as him having to earn the right to be exalted and designated and even saved.
    – Austin
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 19:02
  • @Anne, while on one level, Jesus is predicted and predetermined to rule this doesn't seem to change the fact that he had to earn by his own righteousness the victory. It seems he was predetermined to rule because he would earn it.
    – Austin
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 20:11
  • Just to point out that nowhere in the Bible is Jesus ever spoken of as being righteous. But God's righteousness is a constant phrase. Also, are you implying that, until Jesus "earned his own righteousness", he was unrighteous? That is why I made my query. But I don't want to debate or argue, as a fresh question would be needed for this important point. Thanks.
    – Anne
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 9:58
  • Hi Anne, you have "earned his own righteousness" in quotes, but I never said that or implied that. Would you like to quote me exactly? Hopefully, after rereading, my meaning would be more clear. I'm very happy to discuss any difference in understanding for the sake of clarity even if no agreement. If I challenge your words it's only for the sake of clarity.
    – Austin
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 17:57

Let us be very clear that the fact of Jesus death and resurrection is a series of facts, in themselves, that are unrelated to humans. The central part of the gospel is God's LOVE for us by which He extends to us His GRACE.

  • It was love initiating grace that motivated God to send His Son Jesus
  • It was love initiating grace that motivated Jesus to die on the cross
  • It was love initiating grace that motivated God to forgive us our sins
  • It was love initiating grace that motivated God to want to take forgiven sinners to heaven
  • It was love initiating grace that motivated God to transform sinners to be able to love God at all!
  • It was love initiating grace that motivated God to heal the sick and raise the dead, at no cost the anyone

As evidence for these assertions let me quote:

  • John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • Eph 2:8-10 - For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.
  • Rom 3:21-26 - But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, as attested by the Law and the Prophets. And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as the atoning sacrifice through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had passed over the sins committed beforehand. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and to justify the one who has faith in Jesus.
  • Matt 4:23 - Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
  • Luke 4:18 - “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed
  • Luke 7:22 - So He replied, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. See also Matt 11:5.

Thus, the gospel involved God's free and undeserved love for us by which He extends to us free grace to forgive, to heal, free from sin, to raise us at the end of time and take us to heaven. God proved to all that He was justified in this action by giving the greatest gift in the universe - the gift of His Son Jesus who died to save us.

Let me put this more strongly, if the gospel consisted only of a story of the death of Jesus and His resurrection - great as it was, then the gospel would be powerless to have any affect on me. However, God used these events to extend grace to use and save us and transform us.

  • Rom 1:16, 17 - I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, then to the Greek. For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The Gospel is the whole story of salvation!

APPENDIX - 1 John 4:7-21

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

9 This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. 10 And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as the atoning sacrificed for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we remain in Him, and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.

15 If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him.

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because He first loved us.

20 If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must love his brother as well.


Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝗚𝗼𝗱, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗹.”
(Mark 1:14‭-‬15)

but he said to them, “I must preach the 𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐆𝐨𝐝 to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
(Luke 4:43)

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the 𝐆𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐝𝐨𝐦 and healing every disease and every affliction.
(Matthew 9:35)

The 𝐆𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐝𝐨𝐦 is what Jesus preached his entire ministry, and he did not in fact mention his prophesied death until the end of his ministry (halfway through Mark, which starts with "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ"). Anytime any writer mentions the gospel of grace, the gospel of God, good news, etc. It is to be read as being synonymous with the 𝐆𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐝𝐨𝐦. Any meaningful bible study is lost if you believe all the writers are talking about different topics, thankfully they harmonize.


The gospel described as preached by Jesus himself and his disciples could be the implicit works or beginning of the whole gospel narrative. Since the Gospel books should be read in their narrative context, it is maintained by scholars that the "gospel" term must have been anachronistically applied to the Jesus preachings (Mark 1:15 Luke 9:6 etc). If Jesus was not explicitly using the term gospel with the Messianic theme passages of Isaiah, this could explain why he was always pressed to explicitly admit if he was the Messiah, since using those Messianic terms would be too conspicuous for his safety and mission from the beginning. His message could have been about repentance and Kingdom of God.

Michael Bird writes in The Gospel of the Lord (2014),

a common line in scholarship has been that Jesus did not preach a gospel and that all the places in the Gospels where “gospel” is on the lips of Jesus or where Jesus “preaches the gospel” are to be understood as anachronistic Christianizations of the Galilean rabbi from Nazareth (Exegetical Dictionary of NT 2.70-71). Yet I think that such a scholarly view, dominant and durable as it has been, is about as sure-footed as a mountain goat on a very steep iceberg!

First, we have a good prima facie claim to historical authenticity for Jesus proclaiming a gospel because Jesus himself is not the focal point in his “gospel.” He preaches the kingdom of God. He does not preach the good news of his own death and resurrection with justification by faith or the forgiveness of sins as its chief benefit. This is good evidence that we are not reading a later Christianized write-up of his message. Now obviously kingdom and cross do go together and form a crucial thread in the tapestry of how the divine victory will be won, but Jesus did not preach a gospel ripped directly from Paul’s letter to the Romans. Instead, his message was God’s reign and God’s plan to renew Israel, packed densely with echoes of scriptural hopes and warnings of judgment and setting forth the response that Israel needs to make in this day of decision.

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