“It is by far the most amazing miracle in the whole Bible.”
This is the summation of theologian, Wayne Grudem in his monumental book, Systematic Theology.
“It is by far the most amazing miracle in the whole Bible – far more amazing than the resurrection and more amazing than the creation of the universe. The fact that the infinite, omnipotent, eternal Son of God could become man and join Himself to a human nature forever, so that infinite God became one person with finite man, will remain for eternity the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe.” – Wayne Grudem
In addition, C. S. Lewis states, “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this.”
Luke 2:1-20 is the traditional story of the birth of Christ. In response to a Roman census, Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Angels announced to some shepherds about His birth, They called Him a Savior, Christ the Lord. After the angels left, the shepherds decided to see this baby. They returned praising God and telling people what they saw – God’s Son.
In a recent sermon, I discovered some great principles from this narrative.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people… Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:10, 14)
This announcement of the angels reminds us of two things
1 – Good news for everybody.
God sent a Savior to meet man’s greatest need. This was really good news. The Gospel means “good news.” The most famous Bible verse reminds us of this good news – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The bad news is that everybody is a sinner. But God decided to give us good news and allow Jesus to be born so He could die and pay for our sins. This is really good news.
2 – Peace on Earth.
This kind of peace is not just peace after war or conflict, but peace between sinful humanity and the holy God. An emperor may give peace from war, but he is unable to give peace from passion, grief, and envy. He cannot give peace of heart for which man desires.” The Jewish word shalom (peace) means much more than a truce in the battles of life. It means well-being, health, prosperity, security, soundness, and completeness. It has to do more with character than circumstances.
No Jesus = No Peace; Know Jesus = Know Peace.
In addition, the response of the shepherds presents some encouragement to each of us.
“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us….And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”(Luke 2:15, 20)
I find in the example of the shepherds two worthy exhortations for us today.
1 – Respond immediately to opportunities.
As soon as the angels disappeared and the skies closed the men said, “Let us go” (2:15), and they went “in a hurry” to find the Savior (2:16). Don’t wait for special occasions to talk about the Lord. Speak up whenever the opportunity arises. You don’t have to be obnoxious by forcing a conversation, but remain continually transparent about your relationship with Christ. Watch for open doors. Don’t hesitate; speak freely.
2 – Share your experience.
God didn’t call the shepherds to teach or preach. They had neither the training nor the skills. Instead, they simply shared what they had seen and heard, to describe their experience. They “made known the statement which had been told them about this Child” (2:17). Let us do the same. Let us share what we have experienced and all that God has done for us.