- Sermon Notes
Everywhere You Go
Intro: What is her name?
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the baby announcements commenced as we are introduced to some shepherds out in the fields nearby. Previously, it was angels who had come to both Mary and Joseph to articulate the will of the Lord for their lives and for the child Mary would bear and birth, who was more than just a child, He was the Son of God, Immanuel, who was God with us.
After accepting the will of the Lord in their lives, they find themselves on a journey to Bethlehem in order to register for a census. Upon arrival, they seek to check into a hotel, however, there is no room. Recognizing the need for this expecting mother to stay somewhere, the innkeeper offers his stable. It would be there that Mary would give birth to Jesus, the Son of God.
Read: Luke 2:8-20
After an angel announced the birth of Jesus to Mary and Joseph, here we see a host of angels announce the “good news” of His birth. They announced that a Savior, Christ the Lord was born. While announcements were often made when a child was born into a royal family, those announcements were first delivered to members of the Roman Senate and other dignitaries. Here we see angels first delivering the message that the Son of God was born not to dignitaries, or the elite, but to ordinary shepherds with a message of hope.
I. There is Good News and Great Joy Available for All
Luke 2:8, In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.
- As the scene changes from the dirty manger to the fields nearby, we understand that the first announcement made of Jesus’ birth is to some shepherds in a field nearby.
- The news of Jesus’ birth, was being shared first with a most unlikely group of people.
- While in the Old Testament we see many prominent figures like Moses (Ex. 3:1) and David (1 Samuel 16:11-13) who were shepherds at some point in their lives. Societal view of shepherds had changed through the years.
- In Jesus’ day, shepherds were at the bottom of the social ladder. They were generally uneducated, unskilled, viewed as dishonest, unreliable, and had a reputation as those who would take what was not theirs as they moved throughout the country with their sheep.
- Because sheep required care seven days a week, shepherds were unable to fully comply with all of the Sabbath regulations developed by the Pharisees. As a result, they were in continual violation of the religious laws and therefore ceremonially unclean.
- They were lowly, humble people and what we come to understand is that they were generally not those who anyone would expect to receive the most significant announcement in history.
- Yet, they are the first to hear of Jesus’ birth.
- Interestingly, this is the theme we see throughout Jesus’ life. He consistently seeks out those who are outcasts, or on the fringe and welcomes them in.
Luke 2:10,“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.
- The angel brought good news of great joy to these shepherds, but not just to them…The good news and great joy would be for all people.
- What is this good news and great joy?
Luke 2:11-12, For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
- The substance of this good news is that the Savior, Christ the Lord has been born, and the angel makes it specific by saying, this Savior, Christ the Lord has been born for you.
- The great joy is written about in 1 Peter 1:8, is the joy found in Jesus, inexpressible but sure for those who have been forgiven through faith in Him.
John 10:10, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
- The angel makes it clear to the shepherds, Jesus is good news of great joy for all people, and He was born for you.
- He came for you and I, He came for all.
- The angel continued by telling the shepherds exactly how to find Him. They would find a baby wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger.
- The angel understood that these shepherds would go looking for this child, therefore, the way to find Him is given…
- For us as well, the way to Jesus has been given. The sign has been given, the very Word of God, and the way to Him is displayed throughout Scripture.
Romans 10:9, if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
- We know the way, what about today?
Luke 2:13-14, Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” (NIV)
- Upon whom does His favor rest? His favor-ites….Those who are in Christ! (Eph. 1:6, Highly favored by His grace).
- What the angels are saying is peace to those who are in Christ. The picture we get is Revelation 5:11, the angels, myriads and myriads praising the Lord.
- While there may not be peace in the world externally yet, there is peace in the world internally for those who are in Christ.
Romans 5:1, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 14:27, Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
- What we see next is that the shepherds can’t stay silent about what they have heard and seen. They understand that the Savior has been born, that there is good news and great joy for all.
- Upon hearing this…They want to get to Jesus as soon as possible, there they tell everyone about the good news they had heard.
Illus. He told you that?
II. Tell the World
- As the angels leave, the shepherds leave as soon as possible to go find Jesus.
- Luke does not describe how the shepherds found Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, we only know that they found their way to them.
- As they begin sharing a tale of how the angels announced Jesus’ birth, I can only imagine the stories that flowed. Mary and Joseph had also been visited by angels.
- In a room filled with amazement and confirmation of the calling the Lord placed on Mary to birth and bear Jesus. A confirmation for Joseph who chose the Lord’s path in choosing to remain with Mary and be the earthly father to Jesus.
- In the shepherds’ brief encounter, they brought confirmation of Christ’s divinity, and while all was calm, Jesus perhaps sleeping in heavenly peace…These shepherds told the story of the loud praise going on in heaven.
- The shepherds did not stop talking about this after leaving Mary and Joseph.
Luke 2:17-20, 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. (NIV)
- These lowly shepherds, thus became the first witnesses of the gospel.
Luke 2:19-20, But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
- What if when the angels left, the shepherds turned to one another and said, “that was really cool!” But decided to stay out in the fields?
- Who would have heard about Jesus? How would the story be different? Certainly, our manger scenes would be quite different, but after hearing from God’s messengers, they went out and shared what they heard.
- Bringing that same good news of great joy to all who heard!
Mark 16:15, And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
- Gospel means “good news” …Go into all the world and tell them the good news and great joy, that the Savior has come and you found Him!
- The question then, as we close is this. To whom do you need to recount what you’ve heard from God’s messengers? To whom do you need to tell the story of Jesus’ birth in this world and in your life?
Romans 10:14, How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”