Christmas Discovered: The Shepherd’s Message
Many years ago I read the little book on “Angels” by Billy Graham. Since then, I have had an interest in these creatures and their counterparts, the demons. Fascinating stuff to say the least! Angels are mentioned over 300 times in the Scriptures. That is about once every four chapters, so we know the angels and their function are important. I also have a bit of a familiarity with shepherds as I once worked on a sheep farm in northeastern Indiana. Most of us are somewhat familiar with the account in the birth narratives of Jesus as to the interaction of angels and shepherds.
Monday…Read Luke 2:8-20. I’ll pause my writing until you are done reading. Back already? Good. Now let’s notice a few things. You undoubtedly have heard that Jesus was likely born in the Spring since the shepherds would be watching over the sheep while the sheep were birthing and that is likely correct. You also know that watching and living with livestock means that personal hygiene is not possible and that shepherds were ceremonially unclean much of the time and did not comprise the upper echelons of society. And yet the birth of Messiah was announced to them first. Isn’t it interesting how God does things?
Tuesday…You also noticed that the angel who announced this birth was suddenly joined with a great host of angels and they said some really, really important things. Read again what the angels said (not sang) and then read very carefully the next paragraph.
Wednesday…Did you notice the qualifier on what the angels said? Too many people like to believe that the angels only said, “Peace and good will toward men”, but that is not at all the message. After giving glory to God, the angels specifically said that there would be peace given to those upon whom the favor of God rested. Do you understand the enormity of that statement? Two things: Isaiah 48:22 and 57:21 specifically state that there is NO peace for the wicked. The peace of God and His Christ rest only on those who have found favor with God. And how is that favor found? Read on…
Thursday…The Bible clearly describes how we may be found in God’s favor: we listen to and obey His Son. Not rocket science. Not difficult to understand. Jesus comes to give peace and salvation to those who will trust and obey Him.
Friday…Did you notice in the story from Luke 2 that after the angels left them, the shepherds went and found the baby Jesus. Do you see the progression? They were told of this great blessing to humanity and they did something about it! After hearing about Jesus, they went and found Jesus. Good plan. Very good plan.
by Dale Holzbauer