Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Luke, Chapter 2 part 1

Today we deal with the greatest event in the human history. What else can you call the birth of Jesus Christ? His coming was foretold across the centuries and still gives us our sole hope for salvation and eternal life to this day. As mentioned yesterday, His predecessor in John the Baptist had a pretty exceptional birth. Instead of human speculation on his life, Jesus’ birth was announced with divine signs from the heavens.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." – Luke 2:8-12

Why would God choose to announce the birth of mankind’s Savior in this way? Why not go to Rome, or to the temple in Jerusalem? It is very important that these shepherds were among the first that knew of Jesus’ birth. They were among the bottom level of society even though David, Israel’s greatest king, was once one of their number. The message is brought to them first to show that Jesus came for all mankind. Had the religious leaders or political figures of the day been contacted first it could have been construed differently. Instead, this humble birth is announced first to the common people, those He came to save.

We see further that the shepherds, these uneducated men on the fringe of society, instantly grasped what the religious leaders of the day failed to do over the course of Jesus’ ministry. They understood that their Savior had been born even without fully understanding the need for one. This only proves that God speaks directly to the heart, not the mind. We will see over the course of the rest of this book that when the mind gets involved, it can be an impediment to the truth. When we listen with our hearts, however, we hear and feel God’s presence move us.

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