Advent: The First Christmas Night.

15” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them” (Luke 2:15–20).

What is to be the believer’s response to any revelation from God? When God reveals a truth from His Word, what is to be our reaction? Doubt? Dismay? Disbelief? Skepticism? How about worship and obedience?

The shepherds displayed heartfelt obedience and eventual worship to the announcement that a Savior had been born in Bethlehem. They immediately said to one another, ““Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And that’s exactly what they decided to do.

“And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger” (Luke 2:16). The shepherds did not decide to take a casual stroll in journeying to Bethlehem. The text says they went with haste. The Greek grammar reveals that the shepherds traveled quickly with a great fervency within their entire being. It is obvious they wanted to find this infant.

Did they leave their sheep unchaperoned? Unattended? The text does not explicitly say. Perhaps they brought their lambs with them. We do not know for certain. What we do know is that the shepherds attention and focus was no longer on their flock of sheep but rather upon finding the Lamb of God (John 1:29).

When they arrived in Bethlehem they eventually found the baby Jesus lying in a manger. It was Christmas night. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them” (Luke 2:17-18).

The shepherds immediately told everyone what they had seen and heard from the angel. Everyone who heard the news that night marveled at what the shepherds had to say. Beyond Mary and Joseph, we do not explicitly know how many people were in attendance. However many were there, they all were amazed at the shepherds news.

What was Mary’s response and reaction?  19 “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Mary treasured (συντηρέω; syntereo) all which had occurred. That is, she made a mental note to remember everything that had happened. She also pondered (συμβάλλω; symballo). This means she carefully reflected upon and seriously thought about the implications of all which was said.

What did the shepherds do? 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them” (Luke 2:20). The shepherds returned to the fields to resume their work, but they were changed men. They glorified (δοξάζω; doxazo) God. They praised (αἰνέω; aineo) God. Their worship of the Lord was a result of everything they had heard and seen that evening. They revered the Lord due to the revelation from the Lord.

Is that our response when we encounter a revelation from God through His Word? I hope so.

May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

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