“As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, ‘I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’” (Luke 3:15-16, ESV).
John the Baptist is describing what is going to happen when the gospel comes. He had more revelation insight into the gospel than any of the Old Testament prophets and predicts that when this gospel comes, it will be a gospel of the Holy Spirit with fire.
And then Jesus comes with His fire and says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news.”
That’s the gospel! Jesus says, “This gospel is Mine and I want to bring it to those who don’t have it. I want to bring it to the poor.”
“He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19, ESV).
The year of the Lord’s favor — that is called Jubilee. Under the Old Testament law, every 70 years the slaves were set free and all debts were erased. It was a year of forgiveness, a year of Jubilee. People longed for this year to come and now Jesus is saying that the gospel has come and is proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.
Do you know what the gospel is? It is Jubilee!
Do you know what the gospel is? It is setting the captives free!
Do you know what the gospel is? It is proclaiming that this is the year of the Lord’s favor. It is proclaiming the Good News that Christ has come. Messiah is here and the world has been turned upside down.
That is what the gospel is about!