The first question tends to be pretty simple for us to answer: When you think of the “gospel message” what do you think about? How do you articulate the gospel? I would encourage you to STOP here and mentally think through how you would articulate the gospel to someone in your ministry in 30 seconds or less. Seriously, don’t read any further until you take a second to do that.
The second question is: Did Jesus ever teach the gospel you just articulated?
If you’re normal…and if you’re really honest…and if you take time to read through the gospels…then I believe you would end up with the same conclusion I did about 6 years ago where you would answer, “No he did not.”
Then, this leads us to an interesting tension point where we then need to ask: Why not…was Jesus off-base? Of course we would say he was not, but this does force us to ask other questions.
Let me know your thoughts,