But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:10-14)
Today’s text says that the angel brought “good news.” In the Greek, this is the same word for “gospel.” The angel of the Lord brought the gospel to the shepherds! Biblical scholars have pointed out that the angel did not say that another prophet or another king had been born. Rather, they announced that the Lord and Messiah, whom the people of God had long awaited, had ﬁnally arrived.
Notice there wasn’t even a question as to whether the shepherds would go and seek out the Messiah. The angel delivered the news and then immediately provided them with directions. Their sign would be a baby in a manger. This child was not a mile-marker on their journey to meet the Lord. The shepherds were not supposed to come to the manger for the rest of the directions to the Savior. There in the manger, where least expected, the Messiah had ﬁnally arrived.
There is no greater example of rising from humble beginnings in the history of humankind than the story of the Messiah. Is there a more humble, vulnerable picture than a newborn child lying in a feeding trough? The Lord did not come to earth as an impenetrable warrior conquering kingdoms on horseback. He came quietly, fully God, but born fully human as well, with no one present at His birth besides Mary and Joseph.
- When has the Lord surprised you? How did you respond?
- How would you explain to someone who doesn’t know Jesus that he is both fully God and fully man?
- What parts of Jesus’ birth amaze you?