In the Old Testament era the phrase “good tidings” had a general sense of simply “proclaiming good news.” It might be the birth of a son, or victory in battle. Through its use in Scripture in relation to the coming Messiah it transitioned from a general, secular meaning to a more specific, religious meaning.
The one bringing “good tidings” was the messenger of God who would proclaim the royal dominion of God and who, with his proclamation, heralded the Messiah. The messenger would be sent to proclaim the good news to the poor, and the effect of the proclamation would be their liberation.
The “good news” itself involved the idea of the coming Messiah, the kingdom of God, the inclusion of the Gentiles in the redemptive narrative, the transition from the Old Testament ritual and law. It was linked to salvation words such as righteousness, salvation, and peace!
A phrase commonly used came to have uncommon expectation.
A common phrase, expressed to common people in a common place. Yet, an uncommon message in an uncommon manner!
Isn’t that what Jesus does?
He turns the common into the uncommon.
He takes simple things and makes them special.
He transforms the mundane to the miraculous.
He did it with this phrase. He did it with a manger. He did it with loaves and fish. He did it with mud. He did it with two pieces of wood. He did it with a grave.
And He does it with us.
That’s reason for great joy.