Too often, we rush and we fail to slow down
and consider the common sense
of a Bible passage -in context.
Like a learnerin a reading class,
let's break down a passage to see if we can
comprehend it better.
Luke 2:8-12 (NASB):
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night.
- Why shepherds?
- Since when will the Savior of God's people be for "all the people" (verse 10)?
- Is the birth of the Christ in David's city a coincidence?
- Which is more surprising - the anger shining all around them or hearing that the Messiah is born in a manger?
- What is a Christ? Who is the Lord?
So here we go: in this section of Scripture, the angel of the Lord announces the birth of Christ the Lord. Is it even possible the angel of the Lord to know about the Lord if the Lord has just been born? This speaks to the timelessness of Jesus. He is the Lord. He is present since before the genesis of creation, and He continues past the end of time. The angel, His messenger, announces the King's earthly, human arrival just as a court officer announces the king of England when he arrives in a room.
But the angel does not announce it to the royal court or even to a bunch of knights and ladies in waiting: the angel announces Jesus to lowly, smelly, sweaty, dirty shepherds in the field. They haven't washed. They aren't dressed in their Sunday finest, but the angel is sent to them first - to announce the Savior. Had they been expecting the Savior to come as a baby? Had they expected the King to be lying in the straw of an animal's feed trough? I doubt it.
The fact that the Bread of Life (That's one of the titles by which Jesus refers to Himself.) is born in the the city of David should not be lost on us, either. Bethlehem literally means City of Bread. The Christ (also known as the Messiah) is born in the most humble of ways to a couple of humble people and is announced to humble shepherds. There is nothing regal about the account. Perhaps God wants us to regard these shepherds with an eye that says, if these can respond to "good news of great joy", anyone can. And maybe the image of the Great Shepherd (again, Jesus) is announced first to a bunch of shepherds amidst the bleating of their flocks of sheep is one of deeper meaning, as well.
Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, the One sent by God and Who is God in the flesh. No wonder the glory of the Lord shone around them. Make no mistake: that's not the angel's glory that's shining in your eyes! It is the Lord's glory. No angel ever shone with that kind of light.