The good news of the gospel is the message of salvation through Yeshua Messiah, or Jesus Christ. We hear it all the time. But, with everything in the Bible, there is always a deeper place that God wants to take us in His Word.
So, let’s grab our shovels, break up the topsoil, and get down to the roots.
The Hebrew Word for Good News
The phrase “good news” is translated as the gospel. Most of us are familiar with both terms. Gospel is a Greek word from the New Testament, but the root of this word and its concepts are found in the Old Testament.
Bisar is the Hebrew word that means “to proclaim the good news.”
It is an action word that originally described the report of victory in battle. For the Israelites, bisar was to proclaim the good news of their success in battle and God’s triumph over the enemy.
The single word bisar held much meaning in Jewish history and culture. There would be a messenger, ready to bring the news of either defeat or victory. So for the messenger, bisar was giving an account of their victory under the power, authority, and strength of God. They gave the Lord full credit for their deliverance.
- “…when someone told me, saying, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ thinking to have brought good news, I arrested him and had him executed in Ziklag—the one who thought I would give him a reward for his news.”—2 Samuel 4:10
Isaiah’s report of good news set the stage for the salvation that would come from the Jews—Yeshua—and the ultimate reign of God.
- “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
God’s Kingdom and the Good News of the Gospel
Paul addressed the good news—the gospel—of the Messiah in his letters to the church in Corinth. He explained the hope we have in the resurrection of the Messiah and how He delivers the kingdom to God the Father and reigns until He puts all enemies under His feet.
- “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”—1 Corinthians 15:24-26
This is a spiritual bisar manifesting fully in the physical realm! The undisputable battle cry of an eternal victory!
- “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.”—1 Corinthians 15:1-2
We Know the Good News of the Gospel. Now What?
As you can see, understanding the Hebraic roots to words we hear all the time in Christian circles and at church can open your eyes to how big God really is, as well as the covenant promises and relationship He has with His people and those in Christ.
A theme runs throughout the biblical scriptures: We are to honor the Lord our God above all else. Once we realize the good news, we then place the Lord on the thrones of our hearts, minds, and souls where He belongs.
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”—Matthew 22:37-38
After the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5-7), Jesus continued to teach in parables—through the lens of Jewish culture—as He approached Jerusalem to further explain God’s kingdom.
Seek First the Kingdom of God
The Bible says we are to seek God’s kingdom above all else (see Matthew 6:33), right? But what does that mean?
It means that the Lord is to be the priority of our hearts. A more in-depth look at this passage in Matthew is eye-opening as you begin to study and embrace the Hebraic heritage of Christianity.
This is not about following rules or simply “trying harder.” It is a heart issue.
Through the context of this scripture, Jesus is addressing worry and doubt. Something we all struggle with from time to time.
Ask yourself this, “What is the subject of most of my worry?” For most, it is having enough of what we need. Whether we have enough money, possessions, time, or power to accomplish what we want. So what do we do when we hold on to this doubt? We worry even more, and it takes over the Lord’s place in our hearts.
And, unfortunately, it is expressed outwardly by not giving, sharing, or caring for those around us when we see a need. We are fearful that we will lose out, so we hold on.
Look at Matthew 6:33…
- “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
If we look at the word
righteousness through a Westernized lens, we might understand it to mean
“right with God” to the degree that it is to be a “law-abiding
citizen of heaven”—which leads to legalistic thinking.
However, looking at it from a Jewish perspective, the verse (as Yeshua taught it) means to seek first the kingdom of God and His justice and fairness—not ours.
Read this excerpt from the book Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage by Curt Landry…
…He [Yeshua or Jesus] was telling them [those who were at the Sermon on the Mount] to seek first the kingdom of God and His justice—His fairness—hence the Jewish tradition of giving tzedakah, which is the giving of financial alms or aid and assistance to the poor, the needy, or those who have been denied justice. It’s literally doing things that facilitate empowerment, equality, and freedom for all. Seeking his righteousness is an active action of promoting social justice on the earth, not just keeping rules and performing as Christians.” (page 133, emphasis added)
What an example of a radical way of living! Living with a giving heart that expects nothing in return—just to honor God and be His representative to the world. THIS is what Yeshua taught. It always goes back to the motives of the heart.
When we seek God with our whole heart, His Spirit guides us to exemplify His justice, fairness, righteousness, and tzedakah.
God wants us to dig… and keep on digging. He wants to be known and to know you. He uses His Spirit and His Word to reveal plans and purposes for you and your life when you earnestly search for Him with your whole heart.
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”—Jeremiah 29:13
Now, take a moment to let all of this information settle into your heart and mind. Lift it up in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to show you truth.
The extraordinary news is Yeshua the Messiah—a Jew—came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it, so that both Jew and Gentile would be united as the One New Man.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”—Matthew 5:17-20
Yeshua wants to make something clear here: He did not oppose what God gave Israel or destroy God’s Words spoken from the beginning, but desired to bring deeper revelation and understanding… to fulfill.
Read More About Replacement Theology Here.
When we do not understand the root of our faith, it makes it difficult to understand and use the fruit of it. Thank the Lord for His everlasting and unchanging Word.
In spite of the efforts to remove the Jewish roots of the faith in Church history, God’s Word remains. And because we have available to us the knowledge of the Hebraic meaning of His covenants, we can truly comprehend what it means to be set apart in this world.
He is bringing revelation to the Church today, opening eyes and hearts to align with His Word. He is restoring Israel—both the people and the land—and the Spirit is making known the blessings of being grafted into the olive branch.