What is the Good News of Yeshua?
There is a distinction that needs to be made between the Good News of Yeshua and the Good News about Yeshua. The Good News of Yeshua refers to the gospel he taught, while the Good News about Yeshua pertains to his coming, death, burial, resurrection, and his second coming. Today, I choose to focus on the Good News of Yeshua because most people are already aware of the Good News about him. By neglecting the gospel of Yeshua, we fail to understand the true Good news of the scriptures.
It is important to recognize that these two aspects are not one and the same. For many, the gospel is centered around the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua. However, this is not the Good News that Yeshua himself taught, as his disciples were caught off guard when he spoke about his impending death.
“And taking the twelve aside, He said to them, “See, we are going up to Yerushalayim, and all that has been written by the prophets about the Son of Aḏam shall be accomplished. “For He shall be delivered up to the nations and shall be mocked and insulted and spat upon, “and having flogged Him they shall kill Him. And on the third day He shall rise again. But they understood none of this, and this word was hidden from them, and they did not know what was being said.” (Luke 18:31-34)
“And as they were coming down from the mountain, He ordered them not to relate to anyone what they saw, till the Son of Aḏam had risen from the dead. And they kept this matter to themselves, debating what the rising from the dead meant.” (Mark 9:9-10)
“And going from there they passed through Galil. And He did not wish anyone to know, for He was teaching His taught ones and said to them, “The Son of Aḏam is being delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him. And having been killed, He shall rise the third day.” But they did not understand the word, and they were afraid to ask Him.” (Mark 9:30-32)
The disciples struggled to grasp the meaning of the Master's words, and it is worth noting that he chose to share this information with them privately, away from public knowledge. Several chapters later, Yeshua is depicted teaching the Good News, which implies that this message couldn't have been solely about his death, as mentioned earlier.
“And it came to be, on one of those days, as He was teaching the people in the Set-apart Place and bringing the Good News, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, came up.” (Luke 20:1)
This is the same Good News that Yeshua himself instructed his disciples to go out and teach way back in Luke chapter 9.
“And as for those who do not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the dust from your feet as a witness against them.” And going out they went through the villages, bringing the Good News and healing everywhere.” (Luke 9:5-6)
It would not be until chapter 18 that Yeshua disclosed his fate to his closest disciples, which further illustrates that the Good News Yeshua taught and told his taught ones to teach, was not about his death, burial, and resurrection.
If the gospel Yeshua taught was not about his death, burial, and resurrection then what was it? Well, according to the author of Hebrews it was the very same Good News given to the people who left Egypt.
For who, having heard, rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Mitsrayim, led by Mosheh? And with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter into His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they were unable to enter in because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:16-19)
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering into His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the Good News was brought to us as well as to them, but the word which they heard did not profit them, not having been mixed with belief in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:1-2)
We have received the very same Good News as those who were led out of Egypt, that being entering into covenant with the almighty Elohim if we agree to do all that He says, i.e., keeping Torah. But take note, that those in the wilderness did not profit from this because they did not trust in Elohim, as seen in the connection between rebellion, sin, disobedience, and unbelief.
“Since then it remains for some to enter into it, and those who formerly received the Good News did not enter in because of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:6)
Yeshua Taught the Torah
We know that the Messiah taught a Torah observant lifestyle as evident in the following verses.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one yod or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done. “Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens.” (Matthew 5:17-20)
Messiah himself said do not think he came to destroy the Torah, therefore do not let that thought enter your mind!
“Then יהושע spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Mosheh. Therefore, whatever they say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do.” (Matthew 23:1-3)
When the scribes and Pharisees sat in the seat of Moses they taught the Torah, but they did not practice what they preached and instead upheld the oral torah which we now know as the Talmud. For more examples please check out my “Torah related” page.
Let’s examine a few mentions in the writings of the disciples and apostles about the good news, and see if it aligns with our interpretation.
Peter on the Gospel
“Therefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, set your expectation perfectly upon the favor that is to be brought to you at the revelation of יהושע Messiah, as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behavior, because it has been written, “Be set-apart, for I am set-apart.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear,Knowing that you were redeemed from your futile behavior inherited from your fathers, not with what is corruptible, silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, foreknown, indeed, before the foundation of the world, but manifested in these last times for your sakes, who through Him believe in Elohim who raised Him from the dead and gave Him esteem, so that your belief and expectation are in Elohim. Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever, because “All flesh is as grass, and all the esteem of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.” (1 Peter 1:13-25)
The divine word of Elohim is embodied in the Torah, His righteous instructions that guide us to live a life pleasing to Him. While the redemptive act of the Messiah's sacrifice and the shedding of his precious blood is indeed good news, it is important to understand that the Good News proclaimed by the Messiah, as mentioned by Peter, did not solely revolve around his death, burial, and resurrection. Rather, it focused on the proper path to the Father's heart, which is through the observance of the Torah. It is essential to recognize that Yeshua himself is the embodiment of the Torah in human form. This passage of scripture highlights Peter's message that we have been granted a fresh start. The old ways of living in the flesh are rendered obsolete for those who have been born again and are now willing and ready to live as obedient children. This transformation is indeed good news!
Paul’s Writings on the Good News
“But brothers, I make known to you the Good News, which I brought as Good News to you, which you also did receive, and in which you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold fast that word I brought as Good News to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For I delivered to you at the first that which I also received: that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4)
The death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah are undeniably good news, but it is crucial to understand why they hold such significance. They represent the starting point of the restoration process for the lost sheep of the House of Israel, as Yeshua himself affirmed. This pivotal event symbolizes the opportunity for reconciliation and redemption, offering hope and a way for the scattered Israelites to be brought back into a renewed covenant relationship with their Creator.
“And He answering, said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ĕl.”” (Matthew 15:24)
The Good News should not be understood through the lens of Christianity's perception, where the death of the Messiah is seen as a license to live according to personal preferences. It is not about selectively following certain commandments while dismissing others as archaic or coming from an angry deity. Rather, the Good News is intertwined with the gathering of the lost sheep, a process made possible by the death of the Messiah (bringing redemption to the Bride). This concept is echoed by Paul, who mentions it in the following passage:
“Therefore, remember that you, once nations in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ (the pharisees) made in the flesh by hands that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our peace, who has made both one, and having broken down the partition of the barrier.” (Ephesians 2:11-14)
What was the barrier? It was the understanding that the divorced House of Israel could not return while their husband was still alive (Redeeming the Bride). Gentiles were never prohibited from joining Israel, as there are numerous examples in the Tanach (Grafted In). However, the divorced Israelites, who were separated from Elohim, faced a specific barrier. This is why the Good News that Paul refers to a few verses later is rooted in the prophecy that healing and restoration would come to all of Israel.
“And having come, He brought as Good News peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near.” (Ephesians 2:17)
“I have seen his ways, but now I heal him, and I lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners, creating the fruit of the lips: peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” said יהוה, “and I shall heal him.” (Isaiah 57:18-19)
With all this in mind, let us read Paul’s warning about accepting a false gospel, and ruminate on what that could be.
“For, indeed, if he who is coming proclaims another יהושע, whom we have not proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different Good News which you have not accepted, you put up with it well enough!” (2 Corinthians 11:4)
“I marvel that you are so readily turning away from Him who called you in the favor of Messiah, to a different ‘Good News,’ which is not another, only there are some who are troubling you and wishing to pervert the Good News of Messiah. However, even if we, or a messenger out of heaven, bring a ‘Good News’ to you beside what we announced to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone brings a ‘Good News’ to you beside what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)
Furthermore, the gospel preached by the Christian Church often promotes a message of disobedience through the lens of the Messiah's death. Moreover, they tend to vehemently criticize those who choose to follow Yeshua by obeying the Torah and living in accordance with the Father's will. The gospel they proclaim is not one that can be actively obeyed but is rather centered around a belief system (e.g., believing in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for one's sins is all there is). However, the true Good News encompasses both belief and action. As demonstrated throughout this article, and finally with Paul and Peter themselves, the genuine Good News of the Kingdom of Elohim involves active participation and obedience to the Father's commands..
“In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know Elohim, and on those who do not obey the Good News of our Master יהושע Messiah.” (2 Thessalonians 1:8)
“Because it is time for judgment to begin from the House of Elohim. And if firstly from us, what is the end of those who do not obey the Good News of Elohim?” (1 Peter 4:17)
Continue to test all things, including this article, and I pray that the Ruach Hakodesh leads you into all truth.
Check out some of my books! Available in both print and kindle versions.