Mary Magdalene and the woman at the well couldn’t help but share their good news.
We each have our notions about who is and who is not an evangelist. People like Billy Graham, who filled arenas, come to mind. Or perhaps we think of the person who first shared the gospel with us. Bold people. Gifted people. Often it is those who strike us as evidently holy people. Rarely do we think of ourselves as evangelists.
For some, the idea of evangelism causes fear and anxiety. Perhaps we’ve heard horror stories from others or we’ve had our own bad experiences with it. Our notions of evangelism might conjure up thoughts of a complex and slimy enterprise that involves Christians aggressively pushing our faith on others despite their protests. As a result, we may be disinclined to want any part of it.
But when we turn to Scripture, we find an evangelism that is much different than the corruptions we’ve experienced or of which we’ve heard. In the Old Testament, Isaiah 52:7 joyfully declares, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” In Greek, “the evangel” essentially means “to tell good news, to bear witness, and to proclaim.” Princeton Theological Seminary professor C. Clifton Black tells us that New Testament authors use the term good news “to mean the news of salvation, or liberation from sin, brokenness, and estrangement from God. God reveals this good news through Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection.”
Isaiah tells us what we all know to be true: Those who witness and proclaim good news are beautiful—not odious. Don’t we all welcome good news—and the messenger by which …
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