Today’s Chocolate: Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Forest Mint
Today’s Passage: Luke 2
Remember the good old days when I’d write like two paragraphs and call it a post? Good news, that’s what we’re doing today.
One of the many things going on in this chapter is the bit where an angel (I’m guessing not Gabriel, otherwise Luke would have identified it as Gabriel) announces Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. I wanted to zero in on the angel’s announcement. He says, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (10-11). When Gabriel foretold the birth of John the Baptist to Zacharias, he didn’t even explicitly mention the Messiah, and when he visited Mary, his tone was overwhelmingly that of a messenger proclaiming the coming of a king. The emphasis was overwhelmingly on Jesus’ reign.
But in the announcement to Mary, there was a hint of another angle. She was instructed to call him “Jesus.” In Hebrew, that’s Yeshua, meaning “God is salvation.” That’s Luke’s first suggestion, as far as I can tell, that Jesus will be a savior, but the angel gets explicit with it to the shepherds. Jesus Christ is a savior, and he’s been born for them. When the angel says, “I bring you good news,” that’s a single verb in the Greek: ευαγγελιζομαι. You might also translate it “to preach the gospel,” or you could try to preserve it as a single word by making up a word like “gospelize,” which would be a terrible translation because no one talks that way in English, not even angels.
So let’s run with “preach the gospel.” You remember that whole study we did on the gospel according to each of the gospel writers? Here’s Luke hitting it within the first two chapters: the good news is that Jesus Christ was born to save us. He’s the Messiah, he’s the Master, and he’s here to rescue humanity.