Friday, December 22, 2006


Before we look at the testimony of the angel who came to the shepherds, perhaps it would be best to remind ourselves what those shepherds were probably expecting in a Messiah. The entire Jewish people was expecting a Messiah to come and rescue them militarily and politically from Rome. This Messiah would be sent by God. He would be anointed by God. The revelation to Simeon (Luke 2:26) shows this to be true, “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” This Christ, this Messiah, would not merely come on his own. He was to be the Lord’s Christ! Most of Israel was expecting a man born to the royal line of David. He would be one who could sit on Israel’s throne after delivering his people from Rome.

Surely the shepherds shared in the expectation of the majority of Israel as they lay in the fields watching their sheep that fateful night. What they certainly did not expect was to meet an angel face to face! Neither were they expecting the kind of message which the angel brought them. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10, 11). The message was that the Messiah had been born. He is a Savior. He is the Lord! He was not the Christ “of the Lord,” but Christ the Lord himself! The message which the angel brought to the shepherds was clear. The baby born in the city of David was God in human flesh! What will we do with the testimony of this angel?

So, who was Jesus? A good man? A great teacher? A wonderful example? A man used by God? A son of God? What child is this? Who is this child? Even if people reject him as the Messiah, the Son of God, they still sing the truth throughout the Advent season:

Angels from the Realms of Glory

“Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant light”

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Christ, by highest heav’n adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel

Joy to the World, the Lord Has Come!

O Little Town of Bethlehem

We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel

O Come All Ye Faithful

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning,
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv’n;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing!
O come, let us adore Him

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth

People may not know who Jesus was. They may deny that he is God. Yet they sing the songs which proclaim his deity! Gabriel said he was God’s Son. Joseph’s angel said he was Jehovah who saves. The shepherd’s angel said he was the Lord. All of them agree; Jesus is God! What do you say? Will you believe the testimony of the angels of God who were sent to reveal the truth to men? And if he is God, then his word is true, his salvation is the only salvation, and only he is worthy of our lives and our worship!


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