While shepherds watched their flocks by night
Three out of the four gospels tell us the story of the birth of Jesus. None of the gospels tell anything worth about Jesus youth. They are generally uninterested in Him until His ministry but yet they go into detail about His birth. This must mean it is very important.
Luke is not simply telling the story of a birth. We will look at 3 sets of characters.
1/. The angels. Verses 9 - 14.
The shepherds were out in the middle of the night looking after their sheep. Pitch darkness. Suddenly The Glory Of The Lord Shone Around them. Awesome. The shepherds would have been terrified. Can you imagine how they must have felt. They must have thought bad news was on its way.
Do not be afraid the angel said. I bring you good news of great joy. Such a reassurance for the shepherds. It wasn't a message of doom but of delight. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born today. What an announcement. A saviour, one who will rescue, one who will save, is born.
The angel not only made the announcement but verses 13 and 14 tells us a great company, a vast amount of others appeared and they praised God saying Glory to God in the highest and peace to men on earth.
Christmas is not only for our benefit. It is also for God. It is for the glory of His name. Jesus was born so He could be praised. The birth of Jesus was to bring peace. Peace between God and man.
We are enemies with the God who made us. But through Jesus birth we can become His friends. We can have peace with God.
Are you at peace with God?
2// the shepherds. Verse 8 15 - 18.
Here is the promised king of Israel but who are the angels sent to tell. Shepherds.
Shepherds would be seen as despised people. They had contact with dead animals. They couldn't go to the temple for cleansing because of the hours they worked. They would be known as thieves.
Would you expect these to be the first people to find out about Jesus being born. The gospel is not just for the rich. Not just for the great and good. The gospel was for all. The gospel could go to the ends of the earth. It was if God was saying this is how wide my mercy is. The people everybody else has written off, I haven't.
The shepherds heard the good news. They didn't stand around talking about what had happened they said let's go. They believed. They said let us go and see this thing that has happened. They believed what The Lord had told them. The shepherds evangelised. They went and told everyone what they had heard and seen. We too should tell everyone what God has done for us. The shepherds then praised. They returned to their flocks glorifying and praising God. At the beginning it was the angels who were praising God. At the end the angels have returned to heaven and these ordinary men are now praising. However weak we may feel, God has taken His angels back to heaven and we are called to this task.
3/. Mary. 19 - 20.
How should I respond? Well Mary treasured up all these things and thought about them often.
Verse 19 starts BUT Mary. She treasured these things in her heart. She stored these things in her heart. She pondered. She thought about what had happened. She reflected on what had happened.
Did Luke hear this story from Mary? Maybe. Mary has an appropriate response to Jesus. We need to think about what Jesus has done for us. We need to treasure what He has done for us. We need to reflect what He has done.
The gospel isn't just something we share. It is something we must ponder. We need to reflect on what He has done for us.
Jesus is the saviour. He is Christ The Lord. How do you respond. Do you believe? Have you met Him? Come to Him today for forgiveness of your sins.
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