The Christmas narrative is still the same as when we were children. It means the same thing. There is no thinking it out. The reason it happened was our desperate need for a Savior. None of us are disqualified or unable to have Jesus. He is in reach of every one.
Luke 2: 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
This portion of the Christmas narrative deals with the final part of the birth of Jesus. It’s as important as any other part. It’s sort of a footnote to the rest. An angel appeared to Mary and told her she would conceive a child of the Holy Ghost. Mary went to Elisabeth’s. Her child, John, leaped in his mother’s womb. Joseph had a dream in which the angel told him to take Mary because her child would be the Savior. God moved on Caesar Augustus to call for a census that caused Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem. God knows how to bring things together. Don’t be so overwrought with society and things going on. God still rules. Things are not out of God’s hand. He’s moving and channeling things to the time that the trumpet will sound. Angels told it the first time. Soon they’ll shout and Jesus will appear in the clouds of glory. When he appears we will be with him.
What if the shepherds had been satisfied with just hearing the news of the angels? It was wonderful news that a Savior had been born. The angel told them where Jesus could be found. That was a way of inviting them to go find him. All the accomplishments of Christmas are done on God’s part. I’m thankful it happened and cannot be erased from history. You can’t get rid of Jesus. Men will give account of what they do with the good news of the gospel.
If Christmas is to mean anything, then we must do something. We must go. If the shepherds had stayed in the fields, Jesus would have still been born. These may or may not have been the only shepherds in the field that night, but God chose them to send the message of Christmas. When our minds go back to the Christmas narrative each year, it’s the same old message: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. I can take that good news any day. They were good tidings of great joy to all people. The angel didn’t stop with the news that Jesus was born. He told the shepherds how to find him.
It’s time to do something with what we’ve heard. You’ve got to look. You can’t find him if you don’t go. If we find him and keep getting his blessings we have to keep seeking. Later on Jesus would tell the people seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. Before the door opens, we have to knock.
The angels moved on. It was up to the shepherds to do something. They looked at each other knowing something had to be done. Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. They knew they could find him, but that meant seeking and going to the right place. They knew a light would be on in a stable somewhere. Those who seek Jesus will find him. They left their flocks and when they came back later, everything was fine. Whatever you leave behind in your search God will take care of. You lose nothing when you find God; you gain everything.
That first Christmas night ended on this note. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. We can find him anew and afresh. I’m thankful for what Christmas offers us. Whether we have presents under the tree or not, there is a gift under the tree of the cross—a Savior. He’s the best gift. Open him.
Why did the shepherds find him? Because they said let us now go. Let’s go one more time.