December 21, 2023 – Thursday
Luke 2:8-11 NKJV
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:8-11 NET
8 Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: 11 Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord.
Our four verses above have an angel of the Lord announcing to shepherds living in the field that a Savior had been born, Christ (Messiah) the Lord. It was to shepherds this incredible announcement was made, not to kings or mayors or religious leaders or rich powerful people, but to shepherds.
Why am I making a major point about this? Because in theses Jewish times shepherds were below the bottom rung of the social ladder, they were not even on the ladder. They were considered as low as tax collectors and dung cleaners if not lower. It is only in the book of Luke that they are mentioned. Yet they were the first to learn of the birth of Jesus, who would become Christ the Lord. This was not uncommon for God as women were the first to learn Jesus had risen from the grave when women had very little power in Israel. In the case of shepherds,Jeremias documents the fact that shepherds were deprived of all civil rights. They could not fulfill judicial offices or be admitted in court as witnesses. Yet they were honored by God to be witnesses to the birth of Jesus. My point here is that God does not care one bit about your status, He cares only about your heart.
With that being said, let’s look at the next three verses (NKJV), 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill]toward men!” Here I wish to focus on verse 13-14 where 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill]toward men!”
In verse 13 we find there was a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill] toward men!” in celebration of Jesus’ birth. But what is a multitude? The AMP describes it as an angelic army, the CJB simply says it was a vast army from heaven praising God, the NOG says a large army of angels appeared, the NET says, a vast, heavenly army appeared, and the TLV says, a multitude of heavenly armies appeared. The point is that Heaven found the birth of Jesus worthy to be celebrated before a group of shepherds by an incredible multitude of angels who were praising God for the birth and saying (singing by some commentators) “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill] toward men!” in celebration of Jesus’ birth.
Bottom Line: Any time anyone tells you we should not be celebrating the birth of Jesus, turn to Luke 2:13-14 and tell the person if it was important enough for God to celebrate His birth with a great multitude of angels surely my small human celebration cannot be a bad thing. The key is we must remember the purpose of our celebrating Christmas is celebrating God providing a Savior for us, His only begotten Son, in a field with shepherds and an incredible number of angels celebrating His birth.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your celebration of Jesus’ birth encourages us to also celebrate His birth and to remember what we are celebrating no matter what the world is doing. Thank You. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God