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, biblegateway.com