Message more important than delivery methodIn 490 B.C., the Persian Empire invaded Greece resulting in the Battle of Marathon, a little over 26 miles from the city of Athens.
By: By Pastor Mark, Superior Telegram
In 490 B.C., the Persian Empire invaded Greece resulting in the Battle of Marathon, a little over 26 miles from the city of Athens.
Tradition holds that a messenger was dispatched immediately after the fight was over to inform the residents the result of the battle — the basis for our modern day marathon races.
It is said the messenger ran the distance to the city, entered its gates and cried out in Greek “Euangelion” — good news — and then fell dead. The good news, of course, was that Greece won the day and the Athenians were spared the destructive pillage that would have taken place by the Persians had the battle gone the other way.
Roughly 500 years later, when the Bible was being written, its authors wrestled with the words that best described Jesus’ ministry. They chose euangelion because of the good news resulting from His death and resurrection. In time, this good news emphasis would come to be expressed as “gospel.”
We still use euangelion today in the term “evangelism” and its derivatives. It means to share the good news.
Whatever the language it is still good news; not that Greece won the day at Marathon, but that Jesus was victorious in the battle against sin, death and hell. Our sins can be forgiven.
Few of us will ever run a marathon, but we can still be a messenger who goes to an anxious people and proclaim “Good news! Jesus Christ has delivered us from sin!”
Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.