But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12 NIV)
An angel of the Lord, not the angel of the lord, but a messenger from God, one who has come to serve those who will inherit salvation. The opening words are ( apart from getting over the fear factor of seeing an angel) the news is good. The saviours coming is good news and it will bring joy. Some news is bad, the news of a death, the news of a tragedy. So often when someone says they have news we feel it will be negative, even the saying no news is good news. This came when illness and death was so frequent, and communication was by letter or telegram, when news came it was too frequently that someone was ill or died. National or international news that someone would take the trouble to communicate also tended to be the bad, more spectacular news. We tend to think the same about news we receive now.
But, this is good news. And the news will bring great joy. It’s always good to know in advance that joy is coming. There is so much that you could look to and get down, but the angel is preparing them, it is like they cannot contain themselves. The good news that bring s great joy is, the saviours has been born, He is the messiah and the lord.
The good news contains four things, there is a saviour, a messiah and a lord and he has been born.
I wonder if the shepherds knew they needed saving? They would have known the old testament scriptures regarding the coming messiah, the anointed one and that the coming messiah was the hope of Israel, and even that the messiah would come and deliver them. But I wonder if they knew to what level they needed saving. The general thought was that the deliverance was on a national level, the messiah would come and deliver Israel from oppression. Which he did, but so much more! The shepherds understanding would not have been so much about personal salvation, yet the human condition was of more need than they realised. Our sinfulness required a sacrifice of greater strength than the blood of sheep and goats, an effectual sacrifice that would end all sacrifices. We needed saving because we are going to hell with out the work of Jesus.
He was the messiah, that is the anointed one, the Christ. They would have heard the stories of the Christ coming, and this would brought to remembrance the national hope of the Christ coming to deliver them. They would have know the scripture. That he is anointed means he was empowered to do the job, there was a gracing over him, he shone out over and above everyone else (but we are not talking about any ordinary anointing)
He was the Lord, he was going to rule over them. As shepherds they would certainly know what sheep do without a shepherd, they are lost. The people of Israel needed one, as do the rest of the world, who will lead them, guide them and govern over them. Our problem with this is that we see this as negative, who are you to tell me what to do? Funny that we have such problems in the church with being told what to do yet we go to work and get paid to be told what to do.
It is our fallen nature that does not like being directed, that is independent that is wilful and sinful. So much more our need of one who can lead us, save us and is anointed to do the job – even better news to know that he has been born – which he has and at this time of year we remember the good news.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6, 7 NIV)
This is good news, this is great joy.