Summary: Jesus was born of Mary, but he was born for you.
Casablanca is considered by many to be the greatest movie of all time. The most quoted line from that classic film is offered by Humphrey Bogart, the male lead, to Ingrid Bergman, his love interest: “The problems of two little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
Perhaps you’ve often felt the same way. With wars, the constant threat of terrorism, a seemingly endless array of natural disasters, and poverty and hunger in much of the world, of what importance is the relatively minor problems of a couple people.
Well, maybe it’s true. Maybe the problems of a couple people aren’t a big deal to the world. But I just want you to know they’re a big deal in heaven. The God of the universe, the creator of the world, ordered the events of a massive empire, so that two “little,” common people could fulfill a destiny that had been prescribed for them. The Roman world jumped in obedience to Caesar’s decree that a census should be taken, but the real event, the important one, was ordered by God and prophesied by Micah seven centuries (that’s seven hundred years) before it occurred. Not only did the problems of two little people have significance in a crazy world, their problems were a precursor to the event that would provide an escape for all the problems of the world.
“Ah, but that was Mary and Joseph,” you say, “and I’m just little old me.” Listen, as the angels remind you of the purpose of Mary and Joseph’s little baby v. 8-10. The message to the shepherds was one of good news and great joy; not just for the shepherds, or the people of that day; not just for Jews, or for Gentiles, not simply for any group of people because of talent, or genetics, but to all who will believe in him. David, speaking of God, said to Solomon, “if you seek him, he will be found.” The same is true for us as well. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God rewards those who earnestly seek him.
And what was the news? “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you?” Did you hear that? Maybe, the announcement will have more impact if we insert our own name. “Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to Jack”, or to… fill your name in here. I don’t know about you, but I need a savior. Actually, I do know about you. You need one too. We all need a savior. We’re all sinners. That’s the reason the thought of being in the presence of a holy God is so frightening. Whenever, God’s messengers, or God himself appeared to man, fear was always the first response. Something inside us tells us we’re not worthy to be in the presence of a holy God. That “something” is in there because God has placed it there. God desires that we recognize our own unworthiness so that we will be willing to accept the righteousness he has prepared for us in Jesus Christ.
So the angel had to ease the fear of the shepherds, “fear not, a savior has been born to you.” That’s cause for a celebration, and a celebration is exactly what followed.
Suddenly a massive heavenly choir appeared, and God was praised in the highest parts of heaven, and as for those on earth, well, peace was proclaimed. You see, where there is fear, there can be no peace. But once the fear is removed, and the news is received, it is followed by peace, but not for everyone. Peace is reserved for those on whom God’s favor rests; and it rests on those with whom he is pleased; and he is pleased with those who seek him.