This familiar chapter opens with a historical note. This is Luke the painstaking historian at work.
Through Joseph and Mary’s obedience to the law of the land (and believers should be good citizens) God’s purpose was worked out and prophecy fulfilled (Micah 5:2).
This is a story of humble people and humble circumstances. The greatest event in history, up to that point, was barely noticed by most. It happened in such obscurity. (‘’How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given…‘’). But God chose to make it known to certain people. Some of them were among the most poor and despised people of their times – the shepherds (8-21). They were just doing their duty that night (8). On any ordinary day God may unexpectedly appear in your work place and fill it with His glory.
The shepherds believed what they were told and eagerly went to see for themselves (15, 16); having seen, they then told (17). But they didn’t preach their experience, as vivid and as wonderful as it was: ‘’…they spread the word…’’ They told what they had been told; they passed on the revealed word about Jesus. That is reliable; it is solid rock beneath our feet. We will always find what God says to be true (20; see 12 & 16). The shepherds were, we might say, seekers, preachers and worshippers. All who seek Jesus and find Him are then called to go and make Him known. The question needs to be asked, ‘Are we ready to hear from God through the lips of unlikely people?’
The ‘’good news’’ about Jesus is ‘’for all the people’’ (10). It’s interesting to note that Luke was a Gentile writing for a Gentile readership
What a lovely picture of meditation is painted in (19; see 2:51). Job said: ‘’I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.’’ (Job 23:12b).What thoughts are filling your heart today?