Summary: The angel’s announcement to those frightened shepherds was intended to produce great joy.
Joy to the World
As we gather here this morning, following Christmas, I still find myself thinking back to the wonderful joy that was brought to us in the form of that perfect babe in the manger. And I think of those shepherds at work out in the fields, when the angels came to them, to announce the birth of Christ. The angel’s announcement to those frightened shepherds was intended to produce great joy. So, this morning I want us take a look at the joy we are offered through the birth of Jesus Christ.
I. The Need for Joy
a. The world today is in need of joy.
i. There are many factors today that contribute to an unhappy frame of mind for people.
ii. The present world crisis
iii. Personal past failures
iv. The competitive and materialistic spirit of our age.
v. Disappointment by others
b. These factors contribute to a spirit of pessimism.
i. In the midst of these distressing circumstances, it is somewhat difficult to be joyous.
ii. We need to remind ourselves that a sour-faced Christians is a very poor advertisement of what Christ can do for a person.
c. A student of anatomy has said that it takes 13 muscles to smile and 65 to frown.
i. If this is so, some of us are overworking ourselves by wearing a frown instead of a smile.
ii. A sincere smile on the face is the outward expression of joy in the heart.
d. Jesus came into the world that people might be filled with joy.
i. Most of the painters and poets have given the world a false concept of the character and nature of Jesus Christ.
ii. They have painted him as a sad, melancholy, morbid, unhappy individual.
iii. Because of this impression, many have the opinion that a Christian must never smile.
iv. Some judge the quality of one’s piety in terms of the length of one’s face.
v. The great majority of those who are not yet disciples o four Lord believe that all enjoyment of life is over when one becomes a Christian.
II. Jesus was Joyous
a. Have you ever asked, “What kind of man was Jesus Christ?” Was he a joyful individual or did he forever wear a frown?
b. Jesus had a magnetic personality.
i. His disciples detected in him something for which their hearts hungered.
ii. They perceived that he had come into the world to make available abundant, lasting, true joy to the hearts of people.
1. Jesus described himself as a bridegroom.
a. I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I was waiting at the pulpit for my wife to walk down the aisle, I assure you I was not frowning.
iii. People were drawn to Jesus, because he was full of joy.
III. Jesus desired Joy for Others
a. Jesus desired that his followers be filled with joy.
i. John 15:11 reads, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
b. Concerning the privilege of prayer, Jesus said in John 16:24, “Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
IV. The Babe in Bethlehem’s manger was born to be a Savior from sin.
a. The absence of joy in the hearts of people can be traced to sin and all that this little three letter word stands for.