Updated: Jan 21, 2019
This is part two in our study of “the good news” (euaggelion). But first, just to recap:
Euaggelion means that it’s the headline that can’t wait until tomorrow. Euaggelion wasn’t just about maintaining what they had; it was about the hope of becoming what they were destined to be. Euaggelion meant that the people would rejoice for they no longer had to become someone they were never meant to be. Euaggelion is the understanding of the present reality of deliverance from everything that threatened you. Everything.
So Jesus picks up on this military idea of “good news” and uses it to describe his ministry. It’s his passion, not only to rescue us from sin, but also from the effects of sin, whether spiritual, physical, mental, relational, and emotional. There is complete and whole healing available for us, in every area of our lives, to become who we were destined to be. And that’s good news.
The book of Mark focuses on the euaggelion of Jesus. Every story and word was very carefully chosen by Mark to describe to his readers what the euaggelion of Jesus actually meant. And what I want you to do is use the ideas in the first post to interpret the word for “good news” and “gospel.”
Every time you read the words “good news” and “gospel”, I want you to use the framework of euaggelion. It will change your life.
Mark 1.1, “The beginning of the gospel (euaggelion) of Jesus Christ…as it is written in Isaiah the prophet.” Mark begins his book linking the euaggelion of Jesus with Isaiah 40.
Isaiah 40.3, “A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” But Mark leaves out the following verses of Isaiah 40, because it’s expected that you know the rest:
“Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40.4-5).
It’s impossible for the glory of God to touch you and for you to walk away the same.
Isaiah 40 is about the euaggelion of Jesus raising the valleys in your life; shrinking the mountains; taking all the uneven ground that might cause you to stumble and leveling it all off…smooth.
Now some of you may be thinking, “Hold on Jeremiah…Does that mean we will not have any problems in life?” If that’s your question, you missed the point. Isaiah is not saying that there will no mountains, no valleys, no uneven ground, or no rough plains.
He’s not saying there will be an absence; he is saying there will be an accompanying presence.
And those problems that seem like mountains, valleys, uneven ground and rough plains, he will send an accompanying presence that acts on your behalf as an excavator. Holy Spirit is named The Comforter (John 14.26). You won’t need a Comforter unless you are uncomfortable.
So Holy Spirit accompanies you through those mountains, valleys, uneven grounds and rough plains to the point where they no longer seem as such. And before you know it, you have been rescued, delivered and saved. And that is good news.
Back to Mark.
Mark 1.14, “Jesus came into Galilee proclaiming the gospel (euaggelion) of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the euaggelio.”
This idea of repentance then takes on a different meaning. It is not only asking for forgiveness, but turning away from those things that displace your divine stature, identity and reputation.
It’s the idea that you’re walking towards slavery, oppression, addictions, self-inadequacies, depression, hate, selfishness, anger, self-loathing, misery, anxiety, hopelessness and then realizing that you have already been rescued; turn around a walk towards Jesus, your rescuer, as you reclaim your true identity.
That’s repentance. Repentance is the act of reclamation.
So here’s Mark writing about the good news of Jesus. So he chooses a bunch of stories that explain what the euaggelion of Jesus is all about. Check this out:
Mark 1.21-28 – Jesus heals a man with an unclean spirit.
1.29-31 – Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law.
1.32-34 – Jesus heals many and casts out demons.
1.39 – Jesus casts out demons.
1.40-45 – Jesus heals a leper.
2.1-12 – Jesus heals a paralytic.
2.15-17 – Jesus hangs out with the deplorable.
3.1-6 – Jesus heals a man’s withered hand.
3.10-11 – Jesus heals many and casts out demons.
3.15 – Jesus gives his disciples authority to cast out demons.
4.35-41 – Jesus calms a storm.
5.1-20 – Jesus heals a man with a legion of demons.
5.21-34 – Jesus heals a woman with bleeding.
5.35-43 – Jesus raises a dead girl.
6.7 – Jesus gives more authority to disciples to cast out unclean spirits.
6.12-13 – Disciples healed many and cast out demons.
6.30-44 – Jesus feeds 5000.
6.45-52 – Jesus walks on water.
6.53-56 – Jesus heals many.
7.24-30 – Jesus casts out demon in girl.
7.31-37 – Jesus heals a deaf man.
8.1-10 – Jesus feeds 4000.
8.22-26 – Jesus heals a blind man.
9.2-8 – Jesus is seen with his glory (Is 40.3 fulfilled).
9.14-29 – Jesus heals a boy with an unclean spirit.
10.46-52 – Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus.
11.12-14 – Jesus withers the fig tree.
11.15-19 – Jesus cleanses the temple (paves the way for Gentile worship).
15.15-32 – Jesus on the cross (by his stripes we were healed).
15.33-41 – Jesus’ death in place of us setting us free from sin.
16.1-8 – Jesus’ resurrection setting us free from the fear of death.
16.20 – Disciples confirmed the message with signs and wonders. What message?
Mark 1.14, “Jesus came into Galilee proclaiming the euaggelion.”
Here’s the point. Jesus’ message of the good news is far more than simply eternal life with him in heaven, although that is good news. But his good news extends further:
It’s living now with the effects of living
as if we are in heaven.
“(God) raised us up with him (Jesus) and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2.6). As soon as we accept salvation, in some unexplainable way, we are seated in both the reality of the here and now and in heavenly realms. In other words, we have access to the attributes and powers of heaven for the here and now (more about this in next post).
In order that we join Jesus in his mission: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6.10).
Yet it all begins with the understanding of euaggelion: You are already delivered from everything that has threatened you. Everything.
My friends, walk boldly in your identity as sons and daughters of Papa God. You have been rescued and redeemed as a child. You are accepted and loved exactly as you are. Jesus already sees you as being healed. He sees you as you are in heaven. And your life then becomes about living as if this is true.
Because the blood of Jesus speaks a better word.
The next post we will talk about salvation and healing. This will blow your mind…