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Synopsis 009e  [Luke 2:7-14]

One of the glories of life in the coming millennial age in the Kingdom of our Lord, is that we will learn more and more about Jesus the Christ.  One of the best things about reading and re-reading passages of Scripture is that every time you read them, you may come across something new.  That’s one thing about Scripture; no matter how much you read it, every time you open it, new truths will be brought to light.

Try and comprehend the impact upon all of creation that was caused by the birth of Jesus the Christ.  Reading in [Luke 2:7], one of the simplest statements is full of meaning.  The word “inn” is a place where travelers could rest.  The word “manger” implies there wasn’t a building or anything.  It would have been in a corral or lot with a fence and maybe a lean-to type of barn.

Why did Mary lay the child in a manger?  Because there was no room in the inn.  You can meditate and study upon this for days and days and still not comprehend it entirely.  You also have to ask yourself if there is any more room for the Lord in the world today than there was when he first came.  While people are celebrating, how much room is there?  You just need to be sure to make room yourself.

He came unto his own, his own received him not, they crucified him, he arose from the dead, and he left.  He has little better treatment today in the world.

We’re told in this passage that there were shepherds keeping watch over their flock.  The early church fathers believed and taught that these shepherds were associated with the temple.  The sheep they were keeping were sheep for sacrifice in the temple services.  These would have been men who knew of the coming of the Messiah; they were men who were anxiously awaiting his coming, and all of a sudden, an angel appeared.  The first reference we have to angels in the Bible is in the 18th chapter of Genesis.  [Genesis 18:1-8]    This is a story you are all probably familiar with.  It’s interesting that much is made of the three measures of meal, but Wiersbe points out that this is simply what the recipe calls for if you’re making enough for three.  And as we find out if we go on to read the entire story, Abraham discovers that these three were Jehovah himself and two angels, and they inform him that he and Sarah will have a son.

Angels are real and angels have bodies, but they’re not like the pictures we see depicting what someone determines to be angels, such as creatures with wings, that there are females, and children, and other misconceptions.

Though they do have bodies, their bodies are not like ours.  We learn from reading the account of the angels that fell when they left their first estate (when they left their home in the heavens and came down to earth), that they married daughters of men because of their desire for a relationship with flesh that was different to their flesh.

[1 Corinthians 15]  This is a chapter on the resurrection, and we can read here that there are different kinds of flesh.  [Verse 39]  Interestingly, the KJV switches the flesh of birds and fish, and if translated in the order that they are in the Greek text, they are presented in the reverse order of creation:  Human, beast, fowl, then fish.  These are all different flesh.  [Verse 40]  The Scriptures then describe the difference here between heavenly bodies and celestial bodies; the flesh of angels.

Also, angels seem to have the ability to hide themselves and reveal themselves at will; they can make themselves invisible and then visible again.  They appear and then they are gone.  But, no matter what other abilities and properties they may have, they are real, and as they are great in number.

They’re also ministering spirits.  They are sent to do God’s will and bidding.  They are sent to care and watch over us.  However, we are not to look to them for guidance and leadership; God has given us his Holy Spirit to do that.  His Holy Spirit is our teacher.

However, the shepherds are watching their flock and this angel suddenly appears.  The Bible doesn’t tell us what form the angel takes.  We are told in Hebrews that some of the OT saints entertained angels unawares.  Abraham did that; he did not know at first that two of the three were angels and the other was God almighty himself.  This angel appeared to the shepherds, and they were sore afraid.  Scripture records many instances in which any manifestation of the Godhead, in whatever form, frightened the one or ones to whom he appeared.

I know I would be afraid should one appear.  As humans, we tend to put thoughts of judgment far from us; we don’t want to think about the day when we will stand before the Lord to render account of the deeds of the flesh.  The shepherds were frightened, but the angel spoke words of assurance.  “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

That expression, “all people”, is interesting in light of the fact that there are people today that teach that the good news, or the gospel of the salvation and grace of the Lord, is for the elect only.  At the time, it was brought to Israel (the Greek text says “the people”), but it was later brought to everyone; in several places, apostles are sent unto saved Gentiles.  Scripture teaches that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and that whosoever will may come.

We read here this announcement.  These good tidings of great joy are for everyone; they are for all the people.  Whosoever will may come.  Now, here is the good news:  [Luke 2:11]  This is a very brief announcement, but there are a few words that stand out and are emphasized in the Greek:  The words “Savior”, “Christ”, and “Lord” all stand out.

“I bring you good tidings of great joy; a Savior has been born…”  The major problem of the world today is sin, just as it was then.  Here, we have the announcement that one has been born that can deal with that sin problem.  A Savior has been born.

Another announcement was made.  We looked at that announcement last week.  “Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.”  You understand sin.  You know the pressure and guilt of unconfessed sin.  You know the constant nagging of a guilty conscience because of unconfessed sin.  Many Christian drag around a guilt complex around, even though they know (or should know) their sins have been forgiven.

“There is born today a Savior.”  A salvation from sin is three-fold, in one sense of the word.  We’re saved from the penalty of sin.  The first penalty for sin was announced to Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden:  “In the day you sin, you shall surely die.”  The primary meaning of death is separation from God.  In the day you sin, you shall be separated from God.  The creature will be separated from the creator.  Christ, in his death, died to bring us to God.  So, with the entrance of sin came the penalty of sin.  The first aspect of salvation is that Christ died to do away with the penalty for sin.

This Savior of which the angel made this announcement came with the words that we are told in John 10:10, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly (or superabundantly)”.  John 9:5 says, “I am the light of the world.”  John 3:35 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Jesus the Christ died in my place, and when the angel said unto the shepherds, “for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior”, he was talking about one who will die in your place.  We’re always thinking of the beautiful thoughts surrounding salvation that are surrounding the birth of our Lord, but we sometimes forget that salvation is ours because he suffered, he bled, and he died for us.  Looking at the cross upon which our Savior hung, his body distended, having no form or comeliness whatever, his face covered in dust and spittle and caked in blood, Isaiah says, “We turned our faces from him”. 

It was in those moments when the one who knew no sin was made sin for us that God drew the blinds or the shades of darkness upon the scene and permitted no one to gaze upon him for three hours while he was made sin.  We need to remember that the babe of Bethlehem was the one who died on the cross.  We need to be reminded again and again that the one on the cross was God himself.

[Acts 20:28]  How pertinent in this passage that God purchased the church with his own blood.  In that one statement, you have the significance of the birth and the death of our Lord, when you comprehend even partly the fact that the one hanging on the cross and dying for our sins was God almighty.  God died for my sins, and he died for your sins.

I’ve god good news or glad tidings.  Today, the Savior has been born.  What a day!

Not only is he the Savior, but he’s also the Christ.  The word “Christ” means “anointed one”.  The one anointed to reign as king of kings and lord of lords.  This babe lying in the manger is the Christ.  He’s the one who is going to set up a government, establish a Kingdom, and bring order out of Chaos.  The world today has its eye and ear upon whoever is running the governments of the world, and particularly of the US.  They’re concerned with who is in the cabinet of the president, but one thing you and I know; anything having to do with government in human hands is doomed to failure.  But, the entire world is watching.

The angel announced to the shepherds in the field that night that the Christ had been born; the one who will establish a Kingdom and a government in which justice and righteousness will prevail.  He is the coming king.  Our concern should not be who is going to be in the president’s cabinet, but who is going to be in the Lord’s cabinet.  We should all desire to be there.

[Matthew 20:21]  Here is an ambitious mother who saw in him the coming king of kings.  It doesn’t really matter who is running things now, the anointed one has already been born, and we know he’s coming one day and setting up his Kingdom.  He’s not waiting for a majority of the votes; he is the Christ!  He is the anointed one; he’s the one who will rule and reign.  He will come into this chaotic world and will establish order and justice.

But, this ambitious mother, who was seeing him and listening to him and with an insight that was no doubt granted her by God, said, “Lord, when you establish your Kingdom, and when you elect your cabinet, I want one of my sons, either James or John, to be the first VP, and the other to be the 2nd VP.  One on the right hand and one on the left.

As interesting and important as the governments of the world are today, you and I need to be more concerned with the government our Lord is going to set up.  But, the angel announces to the shepherds that the king of kings and lord of lords has been born.

He also announced, “He is the Lord”.  Several times in the text, the Greek word for “Lord” should be translated “despot”; one who would exact his pound of flesh; justice is justice and right is right.  He said unto his disciples on day, “why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?”  A lord is one who has control; he has authority and is one before whom we should prostrate ourselves and humbly submit ourselves to his will in obedience to his commandments.

He’s the Lord.  You might be concerned with pleasing this one and someone else is concerned about pleasing someone else, but no one is concerned about pleasing Him, and He is the Lord!

This angel appearing from heaven; think about it!  Can you conceive what your reaction would be if an angel appeared before you?  I’d be scared silly and not know what to do.  But, this angel appeared and said, [Fear not-Verse 2:11 “Savior”]  He has saved me from the penalty of my sins.

He will save me from the power of sin, if I let him, in what some call the present tense of salvation.  If I let him.  [1 Corinthians 10:13]  He will not allow us to be tempted beyond that which we can endure, but he will with that temptation provide us with a way of escape.  “My grace is sufficient unto thee.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9)  His strength is available unto us and he will give us victory over the power of sin and deliverance from that power if we so desire it.

Not only that, but one day, this savior will deliver us from the presence of sin.  The unlimited wealth, time, and energy that man expends in trying to do away with the presence and effects of sin is almost incomprehensible.  There are conferences, councils, meetings held around the world, all trying to figure a way to deal with the problem of sin.  Think about the groups that are trying to deal with the drug situation, the alcohol situation, pornography, etc., and that doesn’t count the ones that are trying to call sin “normal” and “alternative”.  But, one day the Lord is coming (the Savior), and he’s going to take us out of the presence of sin.  He will take us out of it!

Then, when we’re gone, he will deal with this sin-cursed earth, which has been judged by God and will one day feel the wrath of God.  The elements shall melt with a fervent heat and pass away with a great noise.  Then, he will bring in a new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness will dwell.  All of that and much more is in the simple announcement, “Fear not… [Luke 2:10-11].  There is coming a king who can and will rule in absolute righteousness and justice.

We all know he’s going to manifest his lordship one day, but today, you and I can acknowledge him as Lord.  We can bow and yield to his will.  With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can obey his commandments.  One day, every tongue shall confess that Jesus is the Christ; that he’s the Lord.  Not just the saved.  From the pits of hell throughout the entire universe, every tongue will confess that he is the lord!

Not only will every tongue confess that he is the lord, but every knee shall bow to him.  By force, they will bow, and as they bow, they will acknowledge and confess that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.

But, if that confession is not made in their lifetime here, and if that bowing is not done, later, although it will be to the honor and glory of the Lord, it will not be done unto their salvation.  Today is the day of salvation.  He’s the Lord.  One day, he will manifest himself as Lord of all; today, he will be our Lord, if we accept him.  That’s the announcement.

[Luke 2:13]  They had been given the signs whereby they would know which babe was the Savior; the Christ; the Lord:  You shall find the babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, there in the city of David.  Then, there appeared a multitude of heavenly host with the angel, praising God.

These were poor shepherds in the field; this angel appeared and having made this incomparable announcement; then all of a sudden, the heavens opened and this great heavenly chorus appears!  I think of the saying, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”  Only God almighty knows the beauty and glory of the heavens that surround us, and these shepherds saw a little part of it.

[Luke 2:15]  They said, “Let’s go and see it!”  And, they go.  Let’s look at the song of praise of this heavenly host; the song of praise that has brought much chaos and confusion into the minds of many people because of its mistranslation.

The KJV says in [Luke 2:14].  Because of that translation, the erroneous thought comes about that if we can establish good will toward men, we can bring peace.  Philosophers, statesmen, educators, and many others are all trying to establish good will between men so we can have peace.  But, the correct, or better translation should read, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among men of his good pleasure”, or “peace among men with whom he is well pleased.”

Let’s think about another passage.  [Matthew 3:16-17]  At the baptism of our Lord and later, on the mount of transfiguration, the heavens opened and through the opened heavens, God the father spoke and said, “this (Jesus) is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”.  “The Lord Jesus, is my beloved son, and I’m well pleased in him.”

Glory to God in the highest and peace among men in whom he is well pleased.  Who are the men in whom he is well pleased?  Those who are like his son.

[Isaiah 48:22]  The “wicked” here means those who are not rightly related to God.  No peace to the lost, nor to the unfaithful Christian.  (Similarly in 57:21.)

Jesus is the one who brings peace; he’s the one who gives peace.  Glory to God in the highest and peace among men who are saved and living faithful lives.  There can be no true peace between you and someone else until you’re at peace with God.  Until you’re at peace with God, you can’t know the true meaning and significance of peace.

This is not to denigrate or speak against peace conferences and this such as that, (remember:  lack of shooting is not the same as true peace.), but there can be and will be no peace until Jesus comes.  Now, the way we can promote peace is to be instrumental in guiding individuals to salvation and guide those who are saved into a path of faithful living, and then, they are walking in the way of peace.  What we have today are peace movements and billions of dollars spent trying to establish peace among lost people or between lost and saved, when we know there is no peace to the wicked.  Think about the treaty between the Catholic church and Islam, futilely trying to placate billions of people into a false peace.  There can be no peace to the lost.

What this heavenly host said in praising God, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men in whom he is well pleased”.  He is pleased only in those who accept his son as their savior and live their lives accordingly.

What an announcement!  Look at the entire scene briefly:  The shepherds in the field, keeping watch over their flock.  They could have been together, listening to movement among the flock; listening for animals of prey; they could have been sitting around a fire talking, but they were in a field and suddenly an angel appeared.

Angels are real.  The shepherds were frightened.  The angel said, “Fear not.  God loves you; the Lord loves you.  Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, for behold today in the city of David is born a savior.”  He’s my savior; I accepted him as my savior.  I trust that you have accepted him as your savior.  I accepted his death on the cross in lieu of me.  “The soul that sinneth shall die.”  He died for me!

I do not, I cannot, and I will not die that death.  He died for me and I accepted that.  He’s my savoir.  When I choose, he gives me power over sin and temptation today.  When I choose.  One day, he’s going to deliver us from temptation.

Satan is so subtle in his temptations, but we have a savior.  That scene described here in Bethlehem is not in vain, as far as I’m concerned.  He is the Christ.  He is the King.  One day, he will set up a Kingdom, and that’s our great hope: to rule and reign in that Kingdom with him.

Do you have comprehension of that?  What a thought!  One day, Jesus the Christ is going to have authority over this earth and he will rule and reign in righteousness.  The Word of God says so, and I believe it!

He is going to have men and women associated with him in that reign; he is the Christ.  He will have a cabinet and I want to be part of it.  Man strives for the perfect government, and we will have it, but not until Christ returns.

Not only is he the Christ, but also he is the Lord.  He wants to take charge of your life and guide you moment-by-moment and day-by-day in every aspect of your life.  Will you let him?  One day, all will proclaim him the king of kings and lord of lords.

Now, as we close, praise along with the heavenly host, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men in whom he is well pleased.”  Strive to be counted among those in whom he is well pleased.