Summary: When the angels appeared to the shepherds, they announced three of Jesus' attributes.
A Introduction Story
B In our text we see two of Christmas’ most familiar players: Angels/shepherds.
1 The history of angels surrounding Jesus is recorded with great detail in Scripture.
b Ministered to Him after the temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4.11)
c At His beck & call at Gethsemane (Matt. 26.53)
e As Jesus enters creation, the angels praise Him.
a Why shepherds? (Outcasts, job made them unclean & kept them away from Temple)
b These are hard working, no-nonsense, practical men.
aa If they said they saw angels, they saw angels; Found the Messiah.
bb God gave these men the birth announcement before anybody else.
cc He didn’t call for the rich & mighty, poor & lowly (1 Cor. 1. 26-29).
dd It is possible these shepherds were raising sheep to be used for service/sacrifice in the Temple.
aa In Ex. 40.34, God’s presence had dwelt in the holy of holies, on the mercy seat which was formed by the folding of angels wings.
bb 1 Sam. 4.21; Ezek. 8.4; 9.3; 10.4, 18; 11.22-23, tells us that the reason that the glory of God had departed from the nation was due to Israel’s sin.
d The stable is Messiah’s first throne room & the manger is first throne; His first night is not in a palace, but in the open air.
I In v. 11, the angels join together three positions that were held by Jesus even as a babe in a manger: Savior, Christ, & Lord.
A “Savior” often gets obscured many times in our modern world.
1 Too often the only idea we focus on is that Jesus can rescue people from unfulfillment in marriages, families, jobs, bad habits, hang ups.
a Offers strength of overcome, sense of purpose.
b BTW, all of these are true, but these are not the Saviors primary intent.
2 Salvations true message is that Jesus Christ came into the world to rescue people from guild & sin.
a Not poor self-image, psychological, artificial guilt.
b Saved from true, God-imposed guilt that sends people to hell.
c Rom. 3.10, 23
aa Everyone of us deserves hell, spiritual death.
bb Jesus, as Savior, saved/saves/will save us from the power & penalty of sin.
B He is not only Savior, but also Christ (It’s OT counterpart is Messiah) with both words carrying the same meaning, “anointed one.”
1 Since apostolic times the name Christ has become the proper name of Jesus, the Person whom Christians recognize as the God-given Redeemer of Israel and the church’s Lord.
a “Christ” or Messiah is therefore a name admirably suited to express both the church’s link with Israel through the Old Testament.
b And the faith that sees in Jesus Christ the worldwide scope of the salvation in Him.
2 He is the One placed in high office, high position; worthy of honor/exaltation/praise.
a He is God’s appointed king, “King of kings” who will sit on David’s throne & reign forever. (1.32-33)