Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Angels and Shepherds


Luke 2
8 ¶ And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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,
good will toward men.

15 ¶ 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.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.


I do like this Biblical scene.

It is appropriate that good news of our Lord's birth should be given to shepherds, as Jesus Christ, the Son of David is the shephed king of Israel who shall gather His people and lead them to safety and enjoyment of God's promises.

Ezekiel 37
21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

22 and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

23 neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

24 ¶ And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.




The angels make known to the shepherds the glory of the Lord. They had come from their dwelling place in the very presence of God and their own beauty and power reflected the glory of their creator.

When people behold the glory of God they are afraid. Naturally so, because the presence of God leads to consciousness of one's own weakness and one's own unworthiness. Yet by grace we can be allowed to enter into that presence, through the redemption that is in Christ.

The angels brought tidings of joy for the people of Israel. The messiah had come. Israel was to be restored to God's favour and gathered again to its land.


Yet at the same time, the birth of Christ was also good news for all nations. For in Christ there is redemption for sin and the granting of eternal life. The establishment of messiah's kingdom on earth entails the coming of peace to the earth and righteous rule amongst the nations. God's kingdom shall bring a state of universal blessing and order to the whole cosmos, as creation shall be restored by His working.

Not lightly do the shepherds seek to tell others of what they have seen. Let us also seek to be bold and swift in making known the good news which we have come to know.

2 comments:

Rose~ said...

Matthew,
Those are great illustrations! Thanks for posting this. I do love your new style.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Rose.