Luke 2:8-19 Christ, the Ever-Present Savior
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
The uniqueness of Christ the Savior that differs from all other great deliverers is His faithfulness to save and to deliver us from problems throughout our lives. Man is only able to help us for a time, but Christ continues forever to be our ever-present Savior.
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
The appearance of the angelic messenger put to rest all skepticism concerning the birth of the Messiah. The heavenly messengers were bringing news of hope and not of calamity. The coming of the Messiah (Savior) was prophesied by the Old Testament prophets that He would deliver His people from the bondage of sin, sickness, poverty and social oppression. His birth in the town of David signified that He would be a type of Messiah as characterized by King David who rescued the people from the enemies and established a type of heavenly Kingdom on earth. However, this Messiah was different in that His sphere of influence went beyond the political into the hearts of man. Hence, through Christ, not only would He stand for Israel, but also for all people on the earth. Thus, it calls for rejoicing that the time of waiting is over; the salvation of man is at hand!
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.
The spontaneous praise by the angelic hosts giving glory to God serves to substantiate God’s attributes of sovereign authority over the course of human history. God has resolved within Himself to bring peace to humanity and salvation to those who response to His message of repentance and reconciliation. And evil cannot hinder the salvation plans of God for humanity.
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.
In response to the angelic messenger they went to Bethlehem to seek out this Baby. Their encounter with the Child Christ changed their lives and birthed within them a new hope of salvation and freedom.
God is actively and faithfully working to prosper His people. The first words of the angel carried the Messianic announcement: Do not be afraid! Serves not only to prepare them for the good news but also a whole new mindset to life: that they should never be subject to fear again. For God is continually working to prosper His people and never to harm them (see Jeremiah 29:11). In humanity’s darkest hour, God initiated the incarnation of His only Son into the world in order to save it. Therefore, we must never fear the circumstances of life, but trust that He always has a plan of salvation. And no amount of dangers or difficulties in this life will be able to take away our assurance of God’s salvation plans. Paul writes, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword.” Romans 8:35. The resurrected Christ is constantly at work helping us overcome the challenges of life.
Only those who encountered Christ in a genuine and personal way will find themselves spreading the good news to others. Hence, as believers encounter the love of Christ in increasing measure, they will become more effective evangelists in their family and workplace. The most effective evangelists are those who have genuine and concrete experiences of Christ’s love and encounters with Him. Some churches drive the people to preach the gospel even though many have yet to encounter Christ. They have also not established a discipline of reading the word and integrating truth and grace into their inner being. Hence, their preaching did not carry the abundant life of the Spirit. The shepherds heard with their ears the angels’ announcement and saw with their eyes the Child Christ. The shepherds encountered Christ and were the first evangelists sent out to spread the good news.
- What are the fears concerning your family, work and life in general? And how do you cope with them? The Holy Spirit is speaking to you at this moment, “Do not be afraid!” Christ had overcome the world and He will lead you to help overcome your present challenges.
- Write on paper what your concrete experiences with Christ were? Do these experiences motivate you to talk about God to the people around you? You can ask God for a more intimate encounter with Him by seeking to understand His heart and to do His will.
Dear Lord, I rejoice, being reminded of the role of Christ the Savior who is actively and continually work to prosper my future. I cast off the fear of losing my purpose, of losing my value in the industry, of being lonely and forsaken. I rest in your ever-present love and salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.