Tag Archives: Tim Keller on the gospel

questioning Jesus, the Gospel of Mark

13 Sep

Before we move onto the last days and resurrection of Jesus in Mark’s gospel, let me ask an essential question: what is the gospel?

Consider Tim Keller on the gospel, “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

what is the gospel?

What does a Christian feel?

Supposed to feel?

How does the gospel enrich, deepen our emotion life?

For me Jesus is the gospel; and we are to be like him. Loving, accepting of ourselves and others. To feel and love.

We are to be as He, Jesus. To feel as he feels. Yet, how is this to be?

He feels the things we can’t feel; we are so finite and limited by our sin. Yet, by seeing the gospel of Jesus we can feel anew. This is the solution for enriching our abilities, our hearts, our minds: it is his life, work, teachings, and death. His resurrection is life, his and ours.

The gospel is Jesus understanding how we feel and our understanding how Jesus feels. Where can we grow in our understanding?

The community of believers is a generous gift where we experience him as we explore this gospel story. 1 Peter speaks of Angels ‘stooping’ to see, as they never tire of looking at the, into, the gospel. It grows deeper and wider the longer we look. Just as the horizon lengthens the longer we see, meditate on it, so does the meanings of Jesus as we look into the gospel story.

Our feelings are renewed, rebuilt, restored by our birth into and by this attraction. Jesus’ story pulls us into reflections and meditations. Our emotions are stirred. Questions are borne. My essential questions flow from ‘stooping’ with the angels of 1 Peter: do Angels have feelings? Emotions? If so, is their worship enriched by their stooping to see Jesus, the gospel? How?

Before we consider a response, let us look at those who hated Jesus. Hate is an intense pure emotion. It is the opposite of looking, seeing, stopping. Those who hate can only see what or whom they hate. Thus, before we can understand angel gazing, angel Iove, let us think on its opposite, hate.

In Luke 7 people hated Jesus because he allowed a sinful woman to anoint him; in John’s gospel he was hated for his tears. He was hated because he had tears for Lazarus’ death; hated for his Jerusalem tears. He was hated for eating with his disciples on the Sabbath; hated for his miracles, his teachings. Jesus was despised because of his emotions, his love for people. Jesus weeps. ( John: 11: 35 ) Some hate Jesus’ for his tears because they remind them of what they are, do not: they have ceased feeling deeply. They can’t or have stopped feeling deeply,

The gospel teaches us to feel empathically, with our whole beings. We are made to feel what Jesus feels. We are made ‘to stoop’, to feel the other, intensely, empathetically, as a child. Or how an angel feels after they experience Jesus. They are to come to hear, to see, touch with wonder. Renewed they, and we, can now feel our neighbour as ourselves. To feel, experience God, the Father, anew everyday. To love him, our Lord, with all.

1 Peter 1:12 YLT

‘… to whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they were ministering these, which now were told to you (through those who did proclaim good news/gospel to you,) in the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, to which things messengers ( angels) do desire to bend looking.’( stoop )

Jesus taught, teaches us, to love our neighbour as ourself and to love our Father with all our heart, soul and might. This is his ‘ask.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4 – 7 )

This is the gospel that stoops into us and we stoop into it, into Jesus. More than we can dare hope, as we look into others, and he looks into us, we are loved.

This is the gospel,

Jesus loves.