Matthew 23:1-4, the gospel in three sentences


How would you explain the gospel to a friend?  How many sentences, explanations, pictures or concepts would it take?  Jesus explains the gospel in three sentences, in Matthew 23, using two truths, the law and the gospel.

Matthew 23:1-4 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

To paraphrase Jesus:

  1. You must keep the law of Moses (with the high expectations I placed on you in my sermon on the mount.)
  2. No one will lift a finger to remove the heavy burden of your guilt for breaking the law of Moses except me, and I will remove that burden on the cross, taking the penalty of the law in your place.

That’s the gospel in two sentences.

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