Jesus, The Savior, Luke 2:8-12
Luke’s account of the birth of Christ is a narrative of history explained.
- Luke’s purpose for this Gospel was to give its readers the opportunity to receive an accurate account of the salvation provided to mankind and to therein respond in faith to Jesus Christ.
- He does this by going directly to the eye witnesses.
- Thus this is no myth or fairy tale and as Peter had written in 2 Peter 1:16, “We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
Read 1 John 1:1-4
- This is not the product of imagination…..but rather of Divine revelation.
- God has spoken; disclosed Himself; we are reading history, not poetry or some myth.
If someone was going to make this up about the birth of the Messiah……..what we would be reading would be much different:
- Shepherds, mangers, angels? Never.
- No halos, no king’s palaces or castles……we could not make this up.
Luke’s Gospel makes known essentially three things:
- Salvation….itself: the Good News.
- He is saying that salvation is found in Christ alone.
- Salvation is Good News for the whole world.
- All men must receive it due to our very sin nature.
The birth announcement:
- Notice who is giving it: Angels have the assignment of giving this announcement.
- Who are the recipients? Shepherds
- Not known for their character, cleanliness or reliability.
- Biblical truth: God comes at unexpected times, to unexpected people, to unexpected places.
Read Luke 1:52
- (Compare to 1 Corinthians 1….God choosing those whom the world would reject.)
- Those who would be use to seeing the birth of lambs would soon see the birth of the Lamb of God.
- And He who would be seen by shepherds would declare Himself to be the
- Good Shepherd who would lay down His life for the sheep.
The Angelic Appearances
- They exist to do God’s business.
- They show up at key moments.
- Here at the birth of Jesus; at the empty tomb (the resurrection scene), the ascension of Christ into heaven, and the future return of Jesus Christ.
The Incarnation…..Virgin birth of Christ…….that the God who created the universe can create conception without sexual intercourse. The voice that thunders in the heavens would be heard in a tiny manger.
Christ……God taking on human flesh……is a mystery that we can never understand. And we read that the Angel of the Lord appeared and the glory of the Lord shown…..and we say, “of course it did!” How could it not?
- This of which we are reading is a “supernatural dimension” much like Moses and the burning bush, or Jesus in Matthew 17 on the Mount of Transfiguration.
- As a result the shepherds are filled with fear.
- The coming of Jesus Christ (shepherds, angels….the star, etc.), all would mean nothing apart from God’s explanation.
- When men and women come to Christmas without having an explanation of what it means, then all we have is a very nice little fairy tale of a story….but only a story that is unsubstantial without any truly deep spiritual significance for mankind.
- Yet when we read the Scriptural account we have an accurate historical event taking place with the explanation of that event.
- In the 11th and 12th verses we have time and location mentioned: again history….”this day”, “in this place”.
- The angel declares that this baby is “Savior”, “Christ the Lord”.
- He is God’s provision for our human predicament or dilemma.
- Mankind, by himself, throughout the eons of time has not improved his condition of depravity. The reason: “The heart of man is exceedingly wicked….sinful.” Jeremiah 17:9 (Man has the propensity for ‘badness’ not goodness.)
- Until the Holy Spirit makes that clear to us individually, personally, we could never hear and therein receive it.
- A person must recognize their true spiritual condition, their need, and respond to God.
When a person responds to the gentle voice of God that invites us to come to Him, the Christmas story will forever take on true meaningful eternal significance. So here’s what God has done:
- It is Great News…..for all people (the angel declared).
- “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”
- Humility is the only response to such an invitation offered.