Last time I wrote about the many difficulties of Mary and Joseph as they obeyed the commands to travel to Bethlehem while pregnant. This time I will be writing about the communication of the birth of Jesus.
In Luke 2:8-14 we read of angels appearing to shepherds and communicating to them the birth of Jesus. The only event as important as the birth of Jesus (the Christmas story) is the death and resurrection of Jesus (the Easter story). The news of Jesus being born is world-changing, history-changing, and life-changing for any person who chooses to listen! The angels chose to tell this incredible news to, first of all, lowly shepherds.
If it was my job to tell of the birth of the Savior of the world then I would have picked someone to tell other than shepherds. Shepherds were out in the middle of nowhere and often alone. Who were they going to tell other than their livestock? Why tell shepherds? I think this would be news you would want to announce to the most important and well-connected people you know, people who could spread the news the furthest and the quickest. God had a much better plan.
Luke 2:10 says, “Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people...’” The first thing the angel said was, “Do not be afraid.” If any of us ever have an angel encounter like this then I’m sure they will need to tell us to not be afraid as well! The second thing they said was “behold.” They were telling the shepherds to pay close attention. The angels were bringing “good tidings” of “great joy” for “all people.”
|photo courtesy of freeimages.com
“Good tidings” is where we get the word evangelism from. The angels were sharing good tidings or good news with the shepherds. These good tidings were of “great joy”. Up until that time, there had never been such an occasion for as great of joy or gladness as the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. This good news that brings great joy was to be for “all people.” The good news of Jesus was for everyone, everywhere, for all time. This is demonstrated immediately as the angels choose to tell people of low economical and social status.
Immediately after hearing the wonderful news from the angels, the shepherds go and visit Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and praise and glorify God for what they experienced (Luke 2:15-20). The next post about the Christmas story will be on the topic of the Christmas Crisis.
The time is now; shake the earth!