Luke 2:8–18 (ESV) 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
In this week’s message, Pastor Chris helps us focus on the reality of Jesus being the reason for our joy at Christmas and our hope every day for the year to come. Remember, Jesus is no longer in the manger but now is in Glory. This is the fulfillment of prophecy. This is great news for all people!
Consider the shepherds. A class of people who were a bit rough around the edges and were looked down on by many in Jewish society. Far different from the nativity scenes and figurines which adorn our homes, yards, stores, and churches at Christmas. Shepherds were so despised that God sent his angel with the message first for them, “Fear not!” he began. God’s messenger follows with, “…for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” In the Bible, 150 times the Lord, directly and through his messengers, says, “Fear not!” God knows that any encounter with him and His heavenly hosts is so pure that people’s impurity manifests and they become fearful. He wants us to know that He helps us live our lives filled with faith instead of fear.
Following this was the pronouncement of Jesus’ birth, the divine coming fully in flesh to live among us:
”23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” Matthew 1:23 (ESV)
Notice that God did not send the angels with their proclamation to the Kings and leaders, or to the wealthy and academics – instead, He sent the announcement to the lowest-of-low, those that needed saving, those who were outcasts from mainstream society. This is a message of hope and transformation! Think of it this way: God formed us. Sin deformed us. The Bible informs us. But Jesus transforms us!
Pastor Chris expanded on this truth with:
Three Reasons Jesus Revealed Himself as a Child
- Jesus came for them
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger…. “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us. 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12, 16 (ESV)
2. He is Savior, Christ and Lord
1…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim….one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” Isaiah 6:1–3 (ESV)
3. Revelation deserves response
”4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4–5 (ESV)
- What is the best thing that could happen to you this Christmas season?
- What sort of thoughts have you ever wondered about the real Christmas story – why a baby, why angels, why shepherds, why a manger in a stable?
- Why do you suppose people are drawn to the message of the manger?
Why might people have ease accepting the “baby Jesus,” but difficulty accepting “Jesus as Lord?”
- What do you think most non-Christians focus-on at Christmas-time? What might be some ways Christians could do better at sharing the message given to the Shepherds with those around them?
- Ask the Lord to reveal the area of your heart that is missing something at Christmas. What is it? How does the message that Jesus came for the lonely, forgotten, despised, unlovely, sick, and sinful resonate with you?
- Now, ask the Lord what will be one way that you can share this wondrous message with others this Christmas season?