29 Jan The Gospel of Suffering
“Yes! All who want to live a God-like life who belong to Christ Jesus will suffer from others.” – 2 Timothy 3:12 (NLV)
Isaiah 53:3, Matthew 16:21-23, Isaiah 53:10, Revelation 2:10, Acts 6:3-5, Leviticus 24:16, Acts 6:8; 11-13, 7: 56, Ecclesiaste 1:9, 2nd Corinthians 4:9-10, Acts 7:60
Epistemology of the words Gospel and Suffering.
Meaning and root word for Suffering
The Biblical Greek word for Suffering is “πάθος”/ “pathos”. From the word pathos, the Medical English word “Pathology” comes which means study of suffering and the word “Allopathy” comes which means the treatment of suffering.
Meaning and root word for Gospel
The Biblical Greek word for Gospel is “εὐαγγέλιον”/ “euaggelion” which means “good news” and the good news is Christ. Christ is the only way of salvation and Jesus Christ suffered for our salvation. So, we may have eternal life in and through Him.
The Suffering of Jesus Christ brought His generations into existence.
When we listen to the word “Suffering”, the first thing comes to mind is “Pain” and “torture” and Scripture says about Jesus “ He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” Jesus bore pain and suffering for us. He willingly chose to be persecuted for us and his persecution was not unexpected to Him but He was well aware about it. Before the day of Passover, Jesus prophesied about his suffering and death on the cross. Before entering into Jerusalem “Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Jesus was not trying to escape from persecution but He rejected the idea of Peter to save his life from persecution “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus rebuked him “Jesus turned to Peter and said, Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” The human point of view about Persecution is a destruction, but the point of view of God is absolutely different. God brings life out of death and His death brought new and eternal life for everyone and we became His living church and descendants as it was a prophecy for Him “when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.”
The Suffering of Paul extended the generation of Jesus Christ.
Paul who also called Saul was from Jewish and Roman family. The root word of his name is from Latin “Paulo” and in Biblical Greek “Παῦλος”/ “Paûlos” which means humble but he was not humble until he encountered with Jesus Christ.
When Paul was persecuting Christians, he was encountered with Jesus Christ on the way of Damascus and heard Jesus’s voice “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” The question is when did Saul persecute Jesus? We are the body of Christ and when Saul was persecuting Christians, he was not persecuting them but he was persecuting Jesus. Today, if people persecute us, they are not persecuting us but they are persecuting God. Jesus said: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
After Paul’s encounter with Jesus Christ, his life was transformed. Jesus sent Ananias to Paul revealing His purpose for Paul’s life that he would greatly suffer for reveling Jesus’ Name in-front of gentiles, kings and Israel. Paul preached the Gospel and performed miracles in the Name of Jesus Christ, because of that He suffered a lot. People stoned him, sent him into prison, snake had bitten him yet he did not refuse to suffer. He established many churches in Asia. Paul did not shrink back from suffering in his life and the result of it was that he became God’s instrument to extended the generations (Believers) of Christ.
In Christian history, so many servants of God were persecuted. Persecution on Christians is not a new thing. It has been from the first century Church, still there is, and will be continued till the second coming of Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus the Creator of Heavens and Earth was persecuted.
Let our Suffering also extend the generation of Jesus Christ.
The Bible says “ What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” Whatever happens today was already happened in past since 1st century to 21st century and will be continued in coming centuries till the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The Jews decided to kill Jesus as a political strategy that they may not lose power to the Romans. Even today Politicians persecute Christian for the sake of political power. God knows and eventually, His plan for His Church will prevail. Paul says in his epistle to Corinthians “persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” We only are called to live our faith and to be faithful unto death. He has promised that I will neither leave you nor forsake you.
Paul suffered because he preached the Gospel and through his suffering, the generations (Believers) of Jesus Christ were extended. Paul, even in his brutal suffering, never cursed anyone. Infact before he was killing Christians who preached Jesus’ name, now he was ready to die for Jesus’ Name.
As Paul faced suffering and persecution, today in the 21st century Pastors, Leaders, Evangelists and many servants of God are persecuted and have wrong allegations of changing the religion of people by performing miracles around the world. Let us all be faithful and committed to share the Gospel and if persecution comes, let it come. God has a power to bring Praise out of persecution and let persecution on us bring glory to God and we may also become a channel to extend the generation of Jesus Christ.
May God extend His generation through us!
Rev. Rahul Kuchekar, a former Computer Networking Engineer and Microsoft Certified System Engineer is a Theological Teacher and a Pastor in Delhi and He equips Bible College Students and Churches in Delhi & Dehradun for Evangelism. Translates Christian books and tracts English to Hindi and Urdu, He is also committed to sharing the Gospel among Ishmaelite’s group. Rev. firstname.lastname@example.org