THE KERYGMA OF THE APOSTLES: TWO ADDITIONAL FACETS
A. In addition to the common Messianic expectation, there were two additional facets of the Gospel which were clarified by Jesus and preached by the Apostles and the early church. The fourth part—righteousness through faith in the suffering Messiah—was largely unknown prior to the resurrection.
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (Jhn 1:29 NASB)
6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. … 8 “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. (Mar 14:6, 8 NASB)
34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed– 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul–to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luk 2:34-35 NASB)
B. Although largely unknown before the resurrection, the revelation of the suffering of the Messiah as the means of entrance into the Kingdom and resurrection was the primary thing that Jesus revealed to the apostles prior to sending them out.
25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luk 24:25-27 NASB)
44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 “You are witnesses of these things. (Luk 24:44-48 NASB)
18 “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 “Therefore repent and return… (Act 3:18-19 NASB)
2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” (Act 17:2-3 NASB)
22 “So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; 23 that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (Act 26:22-23 NASB)
C. The suffering the Messiah is the means by which He is glorified, because it is the cross that demonstrates the Father’s heart. He is the God of the cross, and His heart is only known through a suffering Messiah.
28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” … 30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. … 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (Jhn 12:28, 30, 32-33 NIV)
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. (Jhn 17:1 NIV)
D. This revelation was what ultimately clarified the last of the five primary facets of the Gospel preached. The fifth part of the kerygma of the apostles was the faithful witness of the followers of the Messiah during the gap of time between His first and second coming. Prior to a mature understanding of the suffering of the Messiah, many of the things that He taught them regarding discipleship did not have a foundation upon which they could rest.
22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day. (cf. Hos. 6:2)” 23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me (i.e. to also be raised up), he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. (Luk 9:22-24 NASB)
- 21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ” God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Mat 16:21-24 NASB)
27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Luk 14:27 NASB)
E. After the resurrection of Jesus, He spoke to them for 40 days concerning the coming of the Kingdom and how they were supposed to live in light of that coming Kingdom.
3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” … 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses (Gr. martys) both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Act 1:3-5, 8 NASB)
- 20 And when the blood of your martyr (Gr. martys) Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ (Act 22:20 NIV)
- 13 I know where you live–where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness (Gr. martys; ‘martyr’ KJV, NKJV), who was put to death in your city–where Satan lives. (Rev 2:13 NIV)
- 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs (Gr. martys) of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly. (Rev 17:6 ESV)
F. Upon the conversion of Saul, the Lord sent Ananias to make known to Saul what following Jesus would entail.
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” … 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. 23 When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, (Act 9:15-16, 22-24 ESV)
G. The crucified Messiah is the only means of entrance into the Kingdom and the resurrection, and perseverance in our imitation of Him and His cross is the only means of making our election sure. Just as Jesus was glorified by the cross, so we now glorify Him by loving not our lives even unto death.
10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things (i.e. a life of love and self-sacrifice, cf. vs. 5-8), you will never stumble; 11for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. (II Pet. 1:10-11 NASB)
18 …when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go. 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (Jhn 21:19 NIV)
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. (Jhn 12:23-26 NIV)
H. The cross was not viewed—as it often is today—as the means of escaping suffering and of being great in this age. Rather, the cross of Christ was the atonement which delivers those who repent and believe from the lake of fire and the second death in the next age, and the perfect example of discipleship to be followed in this age unto a glorious inheritance at the day of the Lord.
21For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 21 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously, 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (I Pet. 2:21-24 NASB)
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, 4 got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. 5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” … 15 “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. (Jhn 13:3-8, 15 NASB)
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (1Pe 4:12-14 NIV)
24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. (Col 1:24 NIV)
I. It is through the cross of the people of the Messiah that the love of God continues to be revealed upon the earth. It is long suffering love and joyful endurance under persecution which bears the most powerful witness of the Gospel on the earth. This will culminate at the end of the age with a powerful witness of the Messiah’s patience and love being seen in the church.
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luk 23:34 NIV)
- 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Act 7:60 NIV)
26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. (Jhn 15:26-16:3 NIV)
- 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8 NASB)
- 18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. … 25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household! (Mat 10:18-19, 25 NASB)