Summary: Christmas Series
Jesus is Coming: To Bring Good News.
Sunday, December 25th, 2005
Well, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news, which do you want to hear first? Don’t you love being greeted with that line? News can change our day, it can change our lives. Most people when asked which news they want first prefer the bad news first. Then they have something good to look forward to, the good news, that can put that bad news in perspective and brighten our day just a little bit.
Do you remember all of the old good news/bad news jokes? I can remember one my dad would tell every time we had company.
Doctor: The Good News is, You’ve got 24 hours to live.
Patient says: If that’s Good news, what’s the bad news.
Doctor: I was supposed to call you yesterday!
Bad News: You fell out of the plane
Good News: You had a parachute
Bad News: The parachute Broke
Good News: You’re heading for a soft Haystack
Bad News: There’s a pitchfork in the haystack
Good News: You missed the pitchfork
Bad News: You missed the Haystack
Bad news is no fun but on the opposite end, there’s nothing quite like getting good news. Isn’t it wonderful to get good news? You’ve just come home from a long day of work and your child comes up and shows you a report card with all A’s or your wife tells you she found an extra $500 stashed in her sock drawer. Good news is fun to get. We got a phone call this week that our good friends had a little baby girl and for the next few hours, my day was better. I was happy for them and the good news had changed my outlook on everything. Good News can change our day, it can change our lives.
That’s what the Angels came to proclaim that first Christmas Morning. Good News! The Savior was born! That’s what Jesus came to bring, Good News to a people who longed for it and to a world that was in desperate need of it. We’ve talked the last few weeks about what this baby came to bring. He brought fulfillment of the prophecies, He came to shake things up and change the world, He came to bring Blessing, and on that morning of His birth He brought with Him good news. It was this good news that had the angels sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for the word from God, for just the right moment to proclaim that news to the world.
Read Luke 2:8-20
Good News! Life Changing, World Changing, Earth Shattering News. And look at who God chose to share it with. Not the kings and the rulers, he didn’t shout it from the towers of castles, He didn’t proclaim it the halls of the rich and powerful, He shouted it from the heavens in the dark hillsides of Jerusalem to those who were thought to be the least. To shepherds! In those days, shepherding was a lowly occupation and shepherds were considered outcasts. They were thought of as untrustworthy and were, according to the law, ceremoniously unclean. This means that they were not allowed to participate in the spiritual life and fellowship of the Jewish people and were unable to participate in temple worship, effectively cutting them off from God, according to the Jewish religious and sacrificial system. These were the lowest of the low on the Jewish social ladder and had no place in the religious hierarchy of the day and these are the ones to whom God chooses to trumpet the news to.
Do you see the significance? Those who according to the law were furthest from God are the ones to whom God announces the coming of the Savior. He says that it is goods news that will be a joy for all the people, shepherds and other outcasts included, not just for the religious elite! God had made a way for them and instead of announcing Christ to the religious leaders, He announces it to the ones he came to save, those on the outside looking in. And this theme we see repeated over and over again in the life of Christ as he consistently chooses the least and the sinful, and the outcast to spend His time with and to share His power and message with.
So God announces the Good News to the Shepherds and sets the tone of the last being first that Christ will carry on throughout His ministry.
What makes this such Good News? I want to look at a few things that the angels reveal to these shepherds that explain why this news is the best news the world has ever received.
I. It’s Good News Because of What it is.