Do you have some favorite Christmas passages? I do. This week I am celebrating Christmas by meditating through several of my favorites. Luke 2:8-20 is one of them.
In this passage, Luke records the story of the angels appearing to the shepherds who “were abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). I have always found it interesting that the angels chose to announce the birth of Jesus Christ to these shepherds. We know that the nearby cities were filled with people because of the “taxing” that was required. We know that so many people were present that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). I suppose there were many reasons these shepherds were the recipients.
It may have been practical. They would have been quiet and resting since their sheep would have been bedded down for the evening. Remember the Psalm that says “be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)? In the midst of our busy lives it becomes difficult to be still and even more difficult to hear from God! This is a good time of the year to slow down, think, listen, and seek God. Stillness is essential in knowing God! Quietness is essential in hearing His voice.
It surely was spiritual. The shepherds would surely have been well acquainted with the sacrificial system of the temple and would have known about the requirements regarding the lambs that were sacrificed there. It will be some years before John the Baptist will point to Jesus and declare, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), yet shepherds like these would certainly have been touched by the special meaning in that statement. “Someone was just born,” they are told, and He is the Savior.” He will rescue us from our sins!
No matter the reason, it was an awesome evening for these men. Can you imagine what they saw? They saw angels. That would have been awesome. They saw the glory of the Lord. That must have been awesome. They saw Jesus – the Lamb of God, the Messiah! Can you imagine what they heard? An angel spoke to them. An entire host of angels, a multitude of them, filled the night sky and praised God. Can you imagine what they felt? We know they felt fear, and the angel gently instructed them to “fear not” (Luke 2:10). They must have also felt joy and awe. I imagine their lives were never the same. Can you imagine the conversations they must have had? Can you imagine, years later, what they must have thought when they heard about this baby, now a man, who was healing the sick, feeding the thousands, preaching the parables, and even raising the dead? Can you imagine their thoughts when they heard of His death and resurrection? No doubt about it, they were never the same.
And isn’t that the point? Jesus, the Son of God and God the Son all at the same time, humbled himself and became a baby. He was born into our world that is damaged, cursed by sin. Why? So that we, through His death, could experience forgiveness of sins. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). God has come to rescue us from sin, from judgment, from hell itself! Why did he come? So that we could have “on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
I too have met this Jesus. I have believed on Him. I have experienced His love and forgiveness. I have experienced the peace and good will that He came to bring. I have been saved from sin through Him. And I have spent most of my lifeC making “known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child” (Luke 2:17).
Have you met Him? He came into the world to die for your sins. He died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. He is love and He loves you. Believe on him. Turn to Him. Through Him you can find forgiveness, peace, and great joy. In Him, you will find God Himself!
Thanks for reading,
Your sincere friend,