We are only a few days into the new year and already the news headlines are bad. CNN is mourning the victims of a nightclub terrorist attack in Turkey. Fox News is reporting how the Democrat and Republicans are once again at each other’s throats. And ABC News is contemplating Chicago’s 762 homicides in 2016. Apparently, good news is hard to come by nowadays.
MARK 1:1 | “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
In the introduction to his composition, the New Testament writer Mark announces that he has some good news. He delivers this proclamation in Mark 1:1 by utilizing the term “gospel.” Simply put, this word means “good news” or “glad tidings.” Prior to the writing of the New Testament, this term was used in ancient times to announce the good news of military victories, as well as, the glad tidings of a young ruler’s birth. And in the opening line to his composition, Mark employs this same term – Gospel – to inform his readers that what they are about to read is truly good news.
Good news is often accompanied by joy, celebration and progress. When a couple announces the good news of their pregnancy, an eruption of cheer and hugs ensues. When a hardworking individual is rewarded with a promotion, greater financial stability is gained and larger office is given. And when a lucky individual hits the lottery, his used sedan is upgraded to a brand new sports car or a loaded SUV.
As Mark commences his gospel, he states that his good news is all about “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1). And as Mark’s readers have exposed themselves to his gospel, they have discovered true happiness and transforming joy in the person and work of Jesus. In fact, they would be the first ones to tell you that this gospel is The Gospel. And with today’s headlines being filled with violence and hatred, I would venture to say that Mark’s readers would also tell you that “the gospel of Jesus” is the Good News that our world desperate needs to hear.