Summary: 3 of 3. Shepherds were given an official announcement of Jesus’ birth. Jesus’ birth has been publicly announced. BUT... Who will hear God’s Good News? Those who Hear/Discover God’s Good News...
HEARING GOD’s GOOD NEWS-III—Luke 2:8-20
DISCOVERING The GOOD NEWS!
There is actual Substance to Jesus’ birth even when surrounded by the worldly traditional trappings.
*All those things that comprise the season surrounding Jesus’ birth are fun & exciting!—& nothing is wrong with that! But all those fun & exciting things should be a response to God’s ministry of love to us thru Christ Jesus.
Jesus’ birth is celebrated the world over by Christians because of:
A.)How He came—born of the Spirit, born of a virgin.
B.)Why He came—Our sins condemn us.
C.)What He would accomplish—
i)Deliver us from the penalty of our sins.
ii)Secure our place in heaven.
iii)Give us a new purpose...His purpose.
iv)Empower us to live for Him(moment-by-moment) by His Spirit.
Shepherds were given an official announcement of Jesus’ birth.
Jesus’ birth has been publicly announced.
Who will hear God’s Good News?
4 means of Hearing God’s Good News.
Recently, we found that Those who Hear/Discover God’s Good News are those who...
1. Are HUMBLED In GOD’s PRESENCE(:8-9)
2. Are PREPARED for it(:10-11)
3. SEE IT’s POTENTIAL(:13-14)
4—Those who Hear/Discover God’s Good News...
ACT ACCORDINGLY(:12, 15-20)
Explanation:(:12,15-20) Special Service/Appropriately
:12—“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
The shepherds were told of the “sign”/proof of this momentous event.
Once in Bethlehem(near them?) they would find “an” infant(“Babe”) “wrapped in swaddling cloths” & lying in a feed trough.
That the “Babe” would be “wrapped in swaddling cloths” would be an indicator of the “Babe’s” age. It would also imply for them that the baby would be well cared for being “swaddled” by His mother. That the “Babe” would be swaddled ‘might’ also indicate a lower social standing, given that strips of cloth rather than an entire blanket would warm Him.
Yet though the baby would be well-cared for, He would also be found by the shepherds to be “lying in a manger.” How very odd that an infant of such heavenly importance would be laid down to rest/sleep by His mother(parents) within a ‘feeding trough’ for domestic animals!
A “manger” would be very familiar to the shepherds given they were herdsmen. They would have no qualms about approaching such a situation, whereas others may have been hesitant, even though theirs was a largely agricultural(pastoral & agrarian) society.
Thus this angel’s description was technically “a sign” for the shepherds. “The sign” was an unquestionable identifying indicator, which had been revealed for the benefit of the shepherds given their part in the dissemination of the Good News.
Thereby it is heavily implied that the shepherds were expected to visit & see with their own eyes, this baby Savior, who was God’s Anointed Christ & Lord of all(:11).
Would the shepherds more than anybody have know the locations of public &/or private stables in Bethlehem(:11)?--Not necessarily, given their generally ceremonial ‘uncleanness’ & the nomadic nature of their work. However, if even one of them was from Bethlehem(the city of David) or operated out of Bethlehem or the general area, they may have been well aware of such locations.
“Sign”—shmeion—1) A sign, mark, token—1a) That by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others & is known—1b) A sign, prodigy, portent, i.e. An unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature—1b1) Of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen, 1b2) Of miracles & wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God's. Strong—An indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally.
“Babe”(See :16)—brefov—1) An unborn child, embryo, a fetus; 2) A new-born child, an infant, a babe. Strong—of uncertain affinity; An infant(properly, unborn) literally or figuratively. Used 8X.
“Wrapped in swaddling cloths”(See :7)—sparganow—Verb—1) To wrap in swaddling clothes—1a) Of an infant just born. Strong—from sparganon(a strip; from a derivative of the base of sparassw meaning to strap or wrap with strips); To swathe(an infant after the Oriental custom) Used 2X.
“Lying”(See :16)—keimai—Verb—1) To lie—1a) Of an infant, 1b) Of one buried, 1c) Of things that quietly cover some spot—1c1) Of a city situated on a hill, 1d) Of things put or set in any place, in reference to which we often use "to stand”—1d1) Of vessels, of a throne, of the site of a city, of grain & other things laid up together, of a foundation; 2) metaph.--2a) To be(by God's intent) set, i.e. Destined, appointed, 2b) of laws--To be made, laid down, 2c) Lies in the power of the evil one, i.e. Is held in subjection by the devil. Isthmi properly denotes an upright & active position, while keimai is properly reflexive & utterly prostrate). Strong—middle voice of a primary verb; To lie outstretched(literally or figuratively).
“Manger”(See :7)—fatnh—1) A crib, a manger. Strong—from pateomai(to eat); a crib (for fodder):-- Manager, stall.