Thursday, February 25, 2016

Luke 2:13-16

Luke 2:13-16
And suddenly a multitude of heavenly ranks became with angels while praising God and while saying, “Glory to God in the highest and peace upon the earth and men who please Him.”  And it happened – as the angels departed from them into heaven – the shepherds were saying to each other, “We should go now to Bethlehem and we should see this thing that has become that the Lord made known to us.”  And they went – after hurrying – and they searched for Mary and Joseph and the baby who lay in a feed box.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I think that it is really important that we hear the whole praise of the whole heavenly multitude.  They declare the glory of God.  They declare peace to the earth.  We can assume that this peace about which they speak is peace with God.  In other words, in the coming of Jesus Christ, God declares peace with the world that He had created.  But then we hear a unique expression.  These angels also declare the peace of God to mankind.  But do you notice that not all of mankind are the recipients of God’s peace?  Only those who please God will know peace with God.  All of creation can know peace because all of creation is not tainted with original sin.  But humanity is tainted with original sin.  So only those who humble themselves before God and who seek His pleasure will know God’s peace.

Do you please God?  Do you know the peace of God?

Second Thought:

I am impressed by these shepherds – these normal people of society to whom God has declared this message.  The angels go away and immediately tell each other to go now.  They don’t wait for a nice day.  They don’t wait for a convenient time.  They don’t wait for their life to settle down.  In fact, it might be said that they even abandon their post!  Remember that they were out there watching the flocks.  They leave the flocks to go and see this thing that the angels talk about.  They are a curious people.  They are also a people who clearly pick God over the world.

Do you go now when God calls?  Are you ready to respond to God when He lets you in on His work?

Third Thought:

I love the description of the shepherds’ activity after they decide to leave their flocks.  Most Bibles says that these shepherds “found” Mary and Joseph and the baby.  While this is not incorrect, I personally think it is not as meaningful as it could be.  The Greek word is ἀνευρίσκω (aneurisko).  This literally means to learn the location of something by intentionally searching for it.  This word gives us the idea that the shepherds didn’t know exactly where to go and exactly what to do.  In other words, God’s didn’t give them a road map with step-by-step directions.  They shepherds had to seek out what God was doing.  The shepherds had to put in some of their own effort.  They didn’t just find it; that would be the verb ευρίσκω (eurisko).  They searched for it.  They sought it out.  They put in their own elbow grease to get involved with what God was doing.

When God calls, how much effort do you put forth?  How much effort are you willing to put forth?  Do you expect God to give you step-by-step instructions or are you willing to seek out His will?


Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 2:17-20
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