Are you a ruler impressed with your own power? You’re in this story, too. There is Herod, that bum, in Matthew 2. And do not miss Luke 2:2 where Caesar Augustus, the mightiest ruler of the day, receives only honorable mention. God is clearly not all that impressed by earthly rulers. “A king’s heart is a water channel in the Lord’s hand; He turns it wherever He chooses” (Proverbs 21:1).
Are you an hourly worker with a poor reputation, perhaps a spotted record, and little prospects for success? You can identify with the shepherds outside Bethlehem (Luke 2:8ff) who were selected by Heaven as the first welcoming committee for the Son of God. How special is that? (Scholars tell us that first-century shepherds were a class of rejects as a rule and that their testimony was unacceptable in court. And yet, the Lord Jesus calls Himself our Good Shepherd. See John 10.)
Are you burdened with guilt and wondering how you got your life in such a mess? “He shall save His people from their sins,” the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21. And that angel or another one—it’s impossible to tell—told Bethlehem’s shepherds, “I bring you good news of a great joy. For unto you is born today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). There is a Savior, my friend. His name is Jesus and you have come at a great time! Now is the time and Jesus is the One (see Acts 4:12). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! (Acts 16:30-31).
Are you a preacher wondering how to get yet another sermon out of the Christmas story, one that has not been preached to death, maybe one with a fresh angle? Bite your tongue, friend. You’re not editing the National Enquirer here, trying to find a fresh scandal for every issue. You’re proclaiming the old, old story from Heaven, and your message is as good as it’s possible to get. Tell the old story. Those sitting before you on Sunday are not looking for a fresh spin on the ancient narrative. They want to know more about what God did, what it meant, and what it means today. Open your Bible to Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2, then get on your knees with it open before you, and sit at the Master’s feet for an hour or two. You’ll get sermons enough for a year of Christmases.
Are you new to the Christian faith? Then, welcome, my friend. We hope you will not be put off by all the cultural things our society does to piggy-back on the Christmas story. This is not about Santa or elves, not about Scrooge or Tiny Tim, not about George Bailey or Macy’s sales, and not about Frosty or Rudolph. It’s about God so loving the world that He stepped into history and became a man who preached Heaven’s message and died for humanity’s iniquity.
It’s about Hebrews 2:14-15. “Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, He also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death.”
It’s about 2 Timothy 1:10: “…the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
And, in particular, it’s about Galatians 4:4. “But when the fulness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
It’s for you and for me. It’s for “all the people” (Luke 2:10).
It’s the best news ever. We praise His holy name.
This article originally appeared here.