Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Ultimate Birth Announcement

One of the most obvious, visible, supernatural parts of Jesus' entire life was his birth announcement.

Not far from where Jesus was born, there were shepherds guarding their flocks (Luke 2:8). Some have noted these may have been sacrificial sheep for use in the temple. They were with them day and night, and this was just another night until suddenly the darkness was replaced by light, a glorious light from God's messenger (2:9). (Very often this is depicted as an angel high in the sky, but the messenger actually “stood in front of them.”) The messenger makes the announcement (2:10-12), and then one angel was joined by thousands of others, and they sing! (2:13-14).

At no other time in Jesus life on earth do we have record of thousands of angels appearing to him or anyone else about him. Of all the significant events in and recorded of Jesus life, the one time thousands of heavenly messengers fill the earth with the glory of God is at his birth.

This was no normal night for the shepherds. I don't know how talkative shepherds normally are, but this got them talking—and moving. It doesn't seem they took their sheep with them because they rushed down to Bethlehem to see what—Whom—the heavenly messenger had announced, and they found Him (2:16).

It's understandable and commendable that the shepherds then told others about what they saw, both in front of them and in the feeding trough (2:17). The other people who heard “couldn't stop thinking about its meaning” (2:18).

Just as the people “wondered what sort of person John would turn out to be” when he grew up to be a man (1:66), so too, people wondered who Jesus was.

He is the Lamb of God, who ultimately replaced the system of sacrificial lambs and once for all takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and sets people free (John 8:31-36).

Have you been set free?

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