How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
In the Greek world, and even before, one of the key members of the king’s court was his herald. The herald spoke with the authority of the king and had the task of announcing things like the coronation of a new king. Perhaps the most important messages he carried were those of victory, proclaiming the defeat of the enemy. These messages were always met with great joy.
The New Testament writers put two “herald” words to work to describe believers as they fulfill the responsibility to carry out the message of Christ:
Euangelistēs – Eu is a prefix which means “good”. The angel root in the middle comes from “message.” When we brought the word into English, we changed the u to a v and ended up with evangelist.
Kerugma – This word has a sense of something proclaimed by a town crier, a “hear ye, hear ye” kind of thing.
So why do two obscure Greek words even matter?
They refocus our attention on our calling and our purpose. Granted, there are people who are specifically gifted to preach the gospel, but all of us have an undeniable charge to carry the message.
They remind us the content of the message. There is a King. He is victorious. He has defeated our greatest enemies, sin and death. This is great news!