The Christ(mas) Account

In Your Bible: Luke 2:8-20

Now there were shepherds in the same region, living out in the fields and guarding their flock at night. 9 Suddenly an angel of Adonai stood before them, and the glory of Adonai shone all around them; and they were absolutely terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I proclaim Good News to you, which will be great joy to all the people. 11 A Savior is born to you today in the city of David, who is Messiah the Lord. 12 And the sign to you is this: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly a multitude of heavenly armies appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth shalom to men of good will.”
15 And when the angels departed from them into the heavens, the shepherds were saying to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which Adonai has made known to us!” 16 So they hurried off and found Miriam and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the word that had been spoken to them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard were amazed at the things the shepherds told them. 19 But Miriam treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as they had been told (Luke 2:8-20 Tree of Life [TLV] Translation of the Bible.

The Christmas Story is sung, told, performed, and read every year. Let’s look at its profound features. The message was brought by a major angel, a host of other angels glorified God in song, and the shepherds basked in God’s glory. The focus: what God did for all of mankind – he sent a Savior for those who believe.

Message from God

The angel was not sent to the chief priests or the elders who were not prepared to receive it, but to a few of poor shepherds, near Bethlehem.

  • These shepherds were alert and doing their job
  • They were truly surprised with the appearance of the first angel
  • They saw and heard the glory of the Lord around about them
  • Yet, they were astounded and afraid

What the Angel told them—the Message for mankind:

  • Do not be afraid of this message
  • This message will bring great JOY to all people of the world
  • Today the Messiah is born in the city of David
  • The angel gave instructions [a sign to them] on where to find the Messiah
  • They did not doubt, but went immediately to find Him

The First Evangelists

Commentators ** have reason to think that the shepherds told Joseph and Mary what the angels told them, and the song of the angels sang. This was a great encouragement to new parents. Also, it is probable that Joseph and Mary told the shepherds what an angel had told them concerning the child. This strengthened each everyone’s faith.

The angel had told the shepherds not to keep any of this a secret. But instead tell everybody of this joyous encounter with Jehovah/God. It was their testimony. And the focus: what God did for all of mankind – He sent a Savior.

Prayer: Father, I see again your mercy on me and the peace I have in you from what we call The Christmas Story. In you alone I have Salvation.

* Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible, Copyright 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

** Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary of the Bible,

Angels Announce the Messiah

He [Simeon] turned to Mary and said, “This child will cause the rise and fall of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God that many people will oppose. As he reveals the thoughts of many hearts and pierces our own soul like a sword” (Luke 2:34,35 Eyewitness).

Eyewitness: Luke 2:1-35, Eyewitness p. 25,26
In your Bible: Luke 2:1-35

Old Testament and New Testament prophets foretell the appearance of Jesus the Christ – the Messiah. It’s an amazing story, we’ve read and heard. But understand, at the announcement it’s not just an angelic chorus, it’s a multitude of angels singing. That’s a whole lot of angels singing praises to God.

Angels Visit Everywhere

  • Gabriel visits Zechariah to announce that his childless wife would have a baby
  • Gabriel visits Mary to assure her she was favored of God and would (though a virgin) bear a son – Jesus
  • An angel visits Joseph to comfort him and tell him to marry his betrothed – Mary
  • An angel tells the shepherds the Messiah is born
  • A multitude of angels glorify God at this news

Shepherds HearThis announcement by Gabriel astounds the shepherds. That night, [of Jesus birth] in a nearby field, shepherds watching their flocks were terrified when an angel appeared in a brilliant light. “Do not be afraid,” the angel said. My good news will bring great joy to everyone. Today in the city of David, a savior has been born, the anointed Messiah” (Luke 2:8-10 Eyewitness).

Suddenly a host of angels appeared, praising God and singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men (Luke 2:13,14 Eyewitness).

Shepherds Tell Everyone

The shepherds went to Bethlehem to find the baby the angels had revealed to them. After seeing the baby, the shepherds told everyone what had happened. All who heard the story [of the heavenly angels, announcements and choir singing] were amazed (Luke 2:17,18).

The importance of these visitations by angels of God struck a new note with me. (1) They came at God’s appointed time and (2) FEAR was the first reaction by everyone present. Everyone who saw the glory of God felt awesome fear. What a blessing for mankind. Ponder this! Selah.

Prayer: Father, thank you for a host of angels who brought the words of encouragement. They still bless us today.

Questions: What new insights come to you as you read this passage of Scripture? Put yourself in the sandals of the shepherds and those who saw the Messiah in the manger. Can you grasp the joy and glory God reveals in birth of this baby?

* Photo courtesy of Fred Morgan

Angels – God’s Messengers Announce the Messiah

“Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him” (THE MESSAGE Luke 2:13,14).

THE MESSAGE: Luke 2:8-32
In your Bible: Luke 2:8-32

God uses angels as messengers for the amazing events and to proclaim the appearance of Jesus the Christ – the Messiah. The Old Testament shows prophets foretelling Jesus’ coming. The New Testament reveals angels as messengers to guide people to the Messiah.

We’ve read the Christmas story, heard the songs, and know the key characters. I’d like to place special emphasis on how God announced Jesus’ arrival. The Christmas story gives insight into God’s own excitement about the greatest event in history.

The angel Gabriel visits the childless priest Zechariah to announce the coming of John (the Baptizer).

” I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because he won’t believe me, you’ll be unable to say a word until the day of his son’s birth. Every word I’ve spoken to Zachariah will come true on time – God’s time.” (The Message Luke 1:1-17,19,20). It wasn’t long after this Elizabeth, his wife, conceived.

The angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her how God embraces her.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name Mary.

Gabriel greated her. Of course she was thoroughly shaken by the angel’s visit and by the message. The angel assured her “Mary you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus”. Mary said to the angel, “But how? I have never slept with a man.” The angel answered, ” The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you” (THE MESSAGE Luke 1:28-35).

God’s angel spoke to Joseph in a dream to comfort him and explained his difficult situation.

“Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth and when she does you, Joseph, will name him Jesus – ‘God saves’ – because he will save people from their sins” (THE MESSAGE Matthew 1:20,21).

An Event for Everyone

An angel appeared to the sheepherders, then a huge angelic choir sang God’s praises.
Not only did an angel bring good news to the sheepherders. A magnificent group of angels couldn’t help but sing joyful praise to the Father for what was happening. Glory!

“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set their night watches over the sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and said, “Don’t be afraid, I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody worldwide: A savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is the Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger. At once the choir of angel sang God’s praises Glory to God in the heavenly places, peace to all men and women on earth who please him” (THE MESSAGE Luke 2:8-14).

The sheepherders ran to find Mary, Joseph, and the new born baby. Then they told everyone what they’d heard from the angels and seen for themselves.

Application: For me, the importance of the angels struck a new note: they came at God’s appointed time, fear was the first reaction by the ones visited, but the message was one of blessing and definitely something to ponder. What new insights come to you in this season?

Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus. This year, please teach me something anew from your Word.