Luke 2:1f

Introduction: People often wonder why not every Christmas narrative is the same among the Gospel writers. The quick answer is that every one of the authors, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had different purposes targeted for certain reasons and all of them with their own perspective.

I, like the authors, am choosing Luke’s version for my emphasis and purpose of this particular Christmas message.

I. The Setting

Luke describes the birth itself with surprising brevity compared to others. All we are told is that:

  • They were in Bethlehem
  • Mary gave birth to her ‘firstborn’ child
  • Wrapped him in bands of cloth
  • Laid him in a manger
  • No place in the Inn
  • Of note is that these were local ‘ordinary’ ‘humble’ shepherds.
  • Magi who follow come after birth when they see the star and follow.

(there is almost his ordinary vs. extraordinary…I’m just glad everyone included)!

The ‘Party’ begins rather on a strange note:

  1. An angel stands before them.
  2. The glory of the Lord shone around them.
  3. They were afraid.


Application:
But like some/most parties… things start slowly but quickly pick up!

Transition: Of important to Luke was the next scene in verses 8-20 which describe the angelic announcement to the shepherds.

II. The Players

Luke now introduces a new group that enters the party…. a group of angels.

Question: What did the Angles bring to the party?

  1. Words that will provide a divine interpretation of the events.
  2. Brilliance into what was darkness.

Isaiah 9:2, ‘The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined’. (NKJ)

Application: Of significance is the contrast between the humble setting of the birth and the glory of the angelic announcement…so dramatic a difference.

‘In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.’ (Luk 15:10 NLT)

Transition:

III. Message – Good News – Gospel

  1. The birth of Jesus was a sign of God’s abundant grace.
  2. Joy – for all people.

Application: Joy and celebration are the only appropriate responses!

  1. A sign – for all people-all Israel, all God’s people.

Transition:

IV. The Song – a great army of angles appears in the heavens. From the heavenly host a song rises in praise to God.

The song of the angels is a couplet with three parallel members in each line:

  • Glory – Peace
  • In the highest heaven
  • On earth
  1. Peaceeirene {i-ray’-nay} Meaning: 1) a state of national tranquility 1a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war 2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord 3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous) 4) of the Messiah’s peace 4a) the way that leads to peace (salvation) 5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is 6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
  2. Goodwill toward men – eudokia {yoo-dok-ee’-ah} Meaning: 1) will, choice 1a) good will, kindly intent, benevolence 2) delight, pleasure, satisfaction 3) desire 3a) for delight in any absent thing easily produces longing for it

Conclusion: Christmas is special! In so many ways!

Question: My Christmas Prayer / Wish? That each and every one of you find God’s peace and goodwill for yourselves and then that you would have a desire to do likewise to others.