It doesn’t seem like there is much in our world today that is nearly-too-good-to-be-true.
If you do some searching on the Internet, you will quickly discover lots of advertisements that promote under this banner. But if you dig a little deeper into each of them, you will discover two things: lies and lots of spam.
Definitely not nearly-too-good-to-be-true.
This “nearly-too-good-to-be-true” concept has been around for a long time. Many other cultures have terms, words, and phrases that have similar meanings to this English phrase. One such example is the word euaggelion (yü-än-ge’-lē-on), which is the Greek word for our English phrase, “the Gospel.”
The word euaggelion was a very rarely used word before the Bible came along. It appears only two times in old manuscripts that are not part of our Bible. The reason for this was because of its deep and powerful meaning. We translate this word as “good tidings” or “good news,” a.k.a. “the Gospel.” The meaning this word paints is “nearly-too-good-to-be-true news.”
There wasn’t much around back then that was nearly-too-good-to-be-true.
That changed right around 4-6 BC.
All of a sudden people had something that was euaggelion, something that was nearly-too-good-to-be-true. The writers of the New Testament used the word euaggelion 76 times! The reason was they finally had something to write about that was nearly-too-good-to-be-true. His name was (and still is) Jesus, and the work that He accomplished for us.
This is the euaggelion, the Gospel, the Good News, the nearly-too-good-to-be-true-but-it-is-true news!
You see, the Jews were under the covenant of the law, a standard that put its focus on the performance of the doer. What Jesus did was fulfill the law, something that no one had ever come close to doing. When He fulfilled the law, He made a way for each person to enjoy the blessings of the law and set us free from the curse of the law.
Life became dependent on HIS performance, not ours.
To the law-minded Jews, this hardly seemed believable – but it was and still is true and believable.
It’s not what you do; it’s what Jesus did.
What Jesus really did for us is so good, so mind-blowing, so amazing and overwhelming, it is nearly-too-good-to-be-true.
But the fact God Himself is behind this whole deal makes it true.
It’s not what you do; it’s what Jesus did. This is the Gospel.