Summary: Who was the child born that first Christmas morning? He was the Savior, the Christ, the Lord.
Sermon-12-24-06-Luke 2:8-20-What Child Is This?
Open w/ clip from Charlie Brown Christmas-end when Linus says “That’s the true meaning of Christmas Charlie Brown.”
Amazing where we can find profound truth if our eyes & ears are open.
For many people that is all they know of the Christmas story.
Linus got it right, that is the true meaning of Christmas,
“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
This morning look at that passage from Luke chapter 2 and try to help us understand some of the incredible power and meaning in those words from the angels to the shepherds that first Christmas morning.
A little historical background
Vs. 8 “In the same region there were shepherds out in the field”
-In that culture shepherds, generally as a class of people were about as low as you could go.
-bad reputation for a number of reasons, some deserved, some probably not.
-first, the nature of their jobs kept them from observing the law as strictly as some of the Jews. Needed to watch flocks 7 days a week, unable to keep the Sabbath.
-had a reputation as a class of people who were untrustworthy,
-in fact they were considered so unreliable that they were not allowed to be called as witnesses in the courts.
So even in announcing the birth of Christ-God reaches out to the outcasts, the outsiders.
Something else interesting about these shepherds, it is quite likely that they were what would have been called “Temple shepherds”. The Mishna, the oral rabbinic commentary on the Torah, said that all the animals to be used for sacrifice in the temple had to come from the area basically between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
So there would have been flocks of sheep grazing in this area specifically to be sold for sacrifice at the temple. Historians tell us that around the Passover season alone there could have been up to a quarter million animals killed. So they needed a lot of sheep and it is quite possible that these shepherds were tending a flock of sheep that had been set aside for use in the Temple.
These shepherds are out in the field and the angel appears to them and says
Vs. 10 “Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.”
Don’t be afraid-I have news, it’s good news that going to bring great joy to everyone.
-I bring you good news-from the Greek verb euangelizo-this is where we get our word evangelize-a transliteration of that Greek word-simply means to tell the good news. The angels came to tell the shepherds the good news,
What was the good news? What was going to bring such great joy to everyone?
Vs. 11 “For unto you is born this day I the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
What is the good news, a child has been born. Why is that such good news?
Because of who He is, Who is He?
First, He is the Savior.
Jesus is the Savior. At the time Christ was born history tells us there was another person who was claiming to be the savior of the world. The very man who had ordered the census that brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, Caesar Augustus. Ruins have been found that refer to Caesar by that title “savior of the world.” But Caesar was not the savior, he was only a man. The baby born that night, that the angels announced his birth, Jesus is the Savior of the World.
That phrase “Unto you is born this day a Savior” that is the high point of this entire passage.
This has been what God has been working toward since sin entered the world when Adam and Eve ate the fruit. And all of mankind became separated from God, without hope, but God continues through his prophets to promise that He would send a savior and that is what the angels came to announce that night.
But God sent a Savior. The Lamb of God, these temple shepherds, watching sheep destined to be sacrifices in the temple to cover the sins of the people leave these sheep to worship the one who would one day give His life as the final sacrifice to take away the sin of the world.
This isn’t just good news, this is the greatest news the world could ever hope to hear.
Not enough to hear it & know it must believe it and accept His sacrifice for yourself.
He is the Savior
He is the Christ.
Christ not Jesus last name, so often we hear that and think of that as all part of His name, but Christ was a designation of who He was, His name was Jesus and He was the Christ.