'Tis the Season!
Luke 2: 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
What glorious messages are recorded in the Bible concerning the birth of Jesus! In both of the scriptures above an angel is delivering a message to those who didn't expect it. In Luke the shepherds were blessed to have an angel deliver information that they knew nothing about. The shepherds probably had no warning or indication that this night would be different from any other night as they kept watch over their sheep.
Joseph, on the other hand, was aware that Mary was pregnant. When the angel came to him, as recorded in Matthew 1, Joseph was deep in thought about the pregnancy and what his next steps should be. He was in a quandry. He was preplexed and confused. The fact that Mary was expecting a child before marriage didn't fit with the person he knew her to be. Joseph had not yet realized that not only was Mary chosen to bring forth the Messiah but he was also chosen as His earthly parent. What an extraordinary blesssing and a serious responsibility!
In both instances, the shepherds and Joseph did right with the information they received.The shepherds didn't wait around a couple of days discussing what had happened. They immediately went to seek for the Baby that the angels made known to them. The shepherds found the Baby and His parents just as the angel had said.
Luke 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
The shepherds were blessed to spread the good news that the angels had declared, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2: 14
In the case of Joseph, he and Mary needed to keep the personal circumstances of their family private. They were not to go around announcing that they were the proud parents of the Savoiur of the world. Both Mary and Joseph were astonished at the dramatic and unexpected turn of events in their lives. Every child changes the dynamics of a family, especially the first child. But this Child had a most profound affect not only on His earthly parents but on the whole world!
Even though Joseph and the shepherds were all blessed to be a part of this magnificent event, their responsibilities differed. The shepherds were to spread the news while Joseph and Mary were to hold the details close within. The shepherds had no personal care of the infant while Joseph's parental responsibility was just beginning. The shepherds could go back to their flocks and their day-to-day lives would be relatively unchanged. While Joseph and Mary's lives would never be the same.
All those mentioned here shared angelic visitations accompanied by a puzzling and profound message. They all handled the information appropriately. This is an illustration to modern-day believers that not everyone will have the same response to what the Lord shares with us. Each person may have a different assignment even though the information may be the same. It is important that each one of us nurtures a personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour. Our hearts must be open to the Holy Spirit so we readily hear information and follow the instructions. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be careful not to judge others harshly.
Expect the Lord to speak to you through His Spirit, through His people, through His Word and through circumstances. He may even send an angel with a heavenly message!