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Good News of Great Joy

Luke 2:10-12   |   Shaun LePage   |   December 24, 2006—Candlelight Service

I.      Introduction

A.    The first Christmas was crawling with angels. Mt & Lk combined report four appearances from angels before or during that first Christmas (Joseph, Zacharias, Mary and shepherds).

B.    Angels have often been depicted as cherubs—not true. The angels said, “Do not be afraid” each time. Who’s afraid of cherub? (CBF story—spotlight and fog)

C.    As awesome as angels are, the center of attention was Jesus. The angels were simply there to report “good news of great joy.”

D.    Review: This morning, Luke 2:1-18 mostly looked at shepherds. Tonight, look at the message of the angels. Did you notice the four words/titles to describe Jesus in vs. 10-12?

II.     Body—Luke 2:10-12

A.    Savior.

1.     Gr: soter—false gods, kings, generals; “Saved” from what? Matt 1:21; Acts 5:31—our sin problem was so big, God went to enormous lengths to solve it.

2.     1 Corinthians 1:18—from heaven to the manger to the cross. Foolishness? Power!

3.     “A Savior” does not mean there are other options. Acts 4:12.

4.     Eph 2:1-9. The title “Savior” tells us we need to be saved and God exactly who we needed, so Receive His salvation and join the angels in praising God for the Savior.

B.    Christ.

1.     Not Jesus’ last name; CristoV—“anointed one”; OT—“Messiah”!

2.     Matt began the NT with this bold declaration, calling Jesus “the Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”

3.     Matthew 16:16—Peter’s great confession. Who is this Jesus? The Christ!

4.     OT: “Anointed one” first used for one holding a holy office (Saul, David); then became a formal title for the coming Prince who would sit on David’s throne; Daniel 9:25-26;

5.     NT: well-developed belief by Jesus’ time—Jn 7:41; Did Jesus agree? Lk 24:25-27

6.     So strongly believed, early church (all Jews) and you and I call ourselves “Christians”.

7.     The title “Christ” tells us Jesus will have an eternal kingdom, so Seek first His kingdom and join the angels in praising God for the Christ. (Be “rescued” first by the “Savior”; Col 1:13)

C.    Lord.

1.     kurioV—lit., master or owner. This baby has “right to rule”; sovereign authority.

2.     But does it mean more? “Lord” can mean “God.” YHWH (God’s name given to Moses at the burning bush)—translated “Lord” in the OT. Can we say “Lord” means Jesus is God? John 8:54-59—Jesus claimed to be YHWH (“I AM”).

3.     Jesus healed diseases, walked on water, calmed storms, forgave sins, accepted worship. “Lord” clearly means “God.”

4.     How is Jesus able to “save His people from their sins”? He is God! Matt 1:21-23; OT prophet Isaiah told us He the “child” would be “God.” Is 9:6.; John agreed—Jn 1:1

5.     The title “Lord” tells us Jesus is the sovereign ruler of all creation, so Submit to His Lordship and join the angels in praising God for the Lord.

6.     Did you notice the fourth title?

D.    Baby.

1.     brefoV—child, infant, unborn child, embryo; also “Son” and “Child”;

2.     “Born” (vs.7,11)—The Virgin Birth (Conception); Mt 1:16,18,25; Lk 1:26-38—conceived by the Holy Spirit, normal development and delivery.

3.     How? Can’t explain how God did it—presented as fact, way Jesus kept sinless

4.     Why? The doctrine of the Virgin Birth is so important because only a sinless “High Priest” could save us from our sins. Heb 7:25-27; 1 Pt 1:19; 2:22

5.     So, don’t miss the significance of vs.12: After “Savior, Christ, Lord”—what did the shepherds expect? The “sign” should be emperor on throne, governor on stallion, general in chariot. “A baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger”? “Signs” are for communicating. What was communicated? Humble, selfless love. Phil 2:3-8.

6.     The title “Baby” tells us Jesus humbled Himself for the good of others (us), so Imitate His humility and join the angels in praising God for the Baby.

III.   Closing:

A.    Joseph Bayly: Praise God for Christmas.

Praise Him for the incarnation, for the word made flesh.
I will not sing of shepherds watching flocks on frosty nights,
or angel choristers.
I will not sing of a stable bare in Bethlehem,
or lowing oxen,
wise men trailing star with gold,
frankincense, and myrrh.

Tonight I will sing praise to the Father
who stood on heaven’s threshold
and said farewell to his Son
as he stepped across the stars
to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

And I will sing praise to the infinite, eternal Son,
who became most finite, a baby
who would one day be executed for my crime.
Praise him in the heavens,
Praise him in the stable,
Praise him in my heart.

B.    Let’s do that right now! [Invite worship team and Beth to come up and sing “O Holy Night” then lead us in a couple more songs of praise.]

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