Summary: Sermon based on Luke 2:15-20 - Encourages the hearer to consider the example of the shepherds in their reaction & response to what the angel said to them regarding the coming of Christ into the world.
“WHAT THE SHEPHERDS SAID” Luke 2:15-20
FBCF – 12/27/20
INTRO – At some point in the last few days, you’ve probably said or heard these words: “This one is for you.” You said those words as you gave a gift to someone. Or someone said that to you as you received a Christmas gift from them. Those words meant that that gift was meant especially for the recipient from the giver. It has that person’s name on it. And when it was given, it became that person’s possession.
Think about these 3 words that the shepherds heard from the angel: “For unto you” (Luke 2:11). They were saying, “This one is for YOU!” Those words said to the shepherds that there was a special Gift that had been given to them & for them.
- Personal words – “For unto YOU”
- Pointed words – Angel speaking directed to those shepherds
- Powerful words – Life-changing words straight from the throne room of God the Father through His messenger
Today, on this last Sunday of 2020, let’s focus on the amazing Gift that was given to the shepherds & to us on that first Christmas. Let’s not focus on all the heaviness of this year & the struggles that it has brought to us in so many ways. I’m not minimizing those things or saying that we ought to just pretend like they didn’t happen or aren’t happening right now. That would be an uncompassionate, foolish thing to do.
But let’s choose today to rejoice. One writer said this: “…there are things that are always true that Christians should celebrate even in the tough times. Jesus remains king. Our sins are paid for if we trust in Jesus. We have a local church family that loves us. We have a glorious inheritance. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even disease or death. We can have confidence in the future, even if the COVID rules change all the time.
God is always good. There are always positive things to see. Make sure you don’t just wallow in the bad times of 2020 this reflective time of year; there are many things to thank God for if you look for them.” (https://writtenforourinstruction.com/seeing-the-good-and-not-just-the-bad/)
Today, let’s choose to celebrate. Let’s choose to be jubilant. Let’s choose to appropriate the joy that is within our hearts today b/c of Jesus being in our hearts. The great Puritan theologian, John Owen, said, “Think greatly of the greatness of God.” Let’s choose to do that. Let’s think greatly about His greatness & the greatness of the coming of Jesus into the world.
- That’s what we’ve been going over the last few weeks in this sermon series.
o Think about the greatness of the fulfillment of the OT prophecies about Jesus.
o Think about the greatness of the angels’ proclamation to the shepherds.
o And now, think about the greatness of the shepherds’ response to the words of the angels.
EXPLANATION – Luke 2:15-20
Max Lucado: “God goes to those who have time to hear Him – so on this cloudless night He went to simple shepherds” (God Came Near, p. 10) Aren’t you glad? The very fact that the first people to hear about the birth of Jesus were these ordinary, dirty, ceremonially unclean shepherds ought to speak volumes to us about His coming to us. We, too, are dirty, unclean, & unacceptable due to our sin.
But He comes to us nonetheless, offering us the gift of eternal life & the unbelievable opportunity to know Him, love Him, serve Him, & worship Him in this life, & the promise of heaven in the life to come! What an offer! What a gift! What a Savior! And what a message to tell to others!
APPLICATION – The shepherds’ example of witnessing & worshiping is one that we need to follow today.
THEIR DECISION – v. 15 – This amazing event drew the shepherds away from their flocks in the field. They made the intentional decision when they said, “Let us go now even unto Bethlehem” (KJV) – “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem” (CSB). The magnitude of what they had been told & the magnificence of what had happened impacted them deeply. Why? B/c the LORD had spoken to them – “…which the LORD has made known to us.” Yes, the words had actually come from the mouth of the angel, but they knew that before they came from the angel, those words had come from the mouth of God!
The point: When God speaks, you move! The time for making a decision is right then, not later at a more convenient time.
- “What are we going to do w/ our sheep?”
- “I’m so tired. I’ve been out here in the field working hard. Let’s go later after we get some rest.”