Summary: The shepherds were privileged to hear the good news of Jesus Christ’s birth through the angels.
The Privilege and Responsibility of Those who Received the Good News
Luke 2:1-20 reads as follows: (RSV) 1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; 11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; 18 and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard
A. It is a privilege to receive good news from God. Why?
1. The shepherds were privileged to hear the good news of Jesus Christ’s birth through the angels.
a. Angels were created by God.
Nehemiah 9.6 And Ezra said: "Thou art the LORD, thou alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and thou preservest all of them; and the host of heaven worships thee.
Psalm 148.2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host! 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created.
Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him
b. Angels were spiritual beings without a body though can manifest themselves in a form of human beings.
Hebrews 1.14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who will be saved.
Hebrews 13.2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
c. Angels should not be worshipped.
Revelation 22.8 I John am he who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; 9 but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."
d. There are many angels and the good ones live in heaven.
Hebrews 12.22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering
e. Angels have personalities and are powerful.
Luke 15.10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
2 Thessalonians 1:7 “and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire”