12 Days of Christmas: Day 6, Christmas
So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.
The shepherds had just received an angelic visit and hurried to confirm and see what their ears had heard!
God came to the lowly. The Good News extended first to the down and out shepherds, the lowest of the Jews. I love that about God. He turns all of man’s thinking upside down. I am sure that if you had asked the Jews of that day who would be the first to hear this great proclamation about the birth of the Savior, the answer would not have been “shepherds”…“religious leaders in Jersalem” would have been the response most given!
In verse 17, the word translated “seen” is the Greek word eido meaning “to perceive with the outward senses, particularly with physical sight, to perceive with the mind, to understand” (The Complete Word Study New Testament). Isn’t that great? God tells them. God shows them. What a confirmation and, as a result, what a transformation! It reminds me of Job. After all his struggles he says to the Lord:
I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
When one hears and understands such Good News, one acts! That’s exactly what the shepherds did! They made known, they declared, they revealed the word given to them! They were the first messengers to proclaim the arrival of the Messiah. And all who heard were amazed and filled with wonder! Scripture tells us that Mary kept all these things carefully in her heart—protected, safe, and close. I am sure she replayed the message from the angels to the shepherds over and over in her mind.
“Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”
When the shepherds return to their sheep, they sing to God for all they have heard and seen.
What God says, that He will most assuredly do. He never changes.
Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.
We should not expect God to use the methods of this world to convey His messages. He tells us, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). We have no idea as to who or what He will use to go about fulfilling His plan. What we can know is that He has a plan and it is good!
“I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need.” —Spurgeon
Read the Word
2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. 2:2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 2:3 Everyone went to his own town to be registered. 2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. 2:5 He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. 2:6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
2:8 Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: 2:11 Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. 2:12 This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 2:13 Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
2:14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”