The detail of Luke’s account continues…
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke’s purpose for his whole Gospel is a detailed account to bring to his reader accurate information and detail so they may “know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Something that brings certainty is when someone says something and then what happens matches what was said. At the end of these verses is the phrase, “which were just as they had been told.” I’ve wondered at times if part of Luke’s investigation put him in touch with one of the shepherds that was there that night of Jesus’ birth. With the detail Luke provides, it leads me to wonder.
The shepherds went to find Jesus based on the words of the angel. If they couldn’t find Jesus, I would guess this account would never have made it in the pages of the Bible. But they did! Just as they had been told…not just in general, but in all the detail.
They were given the sign, “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
They went to “…see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They found “the baby, who was lying in the manger.”
They spread the word “concerning what had been TOLD them about this child.”
They returned “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been TOLD.”
When God speaks, we can trust his Word. Christmas and Luke’s account are just one small example of the power, precision, and promise of God’s Word and the blessing, joy, and certainty it brings to our life of faith as we hear it, believe it, and live it!
Apply: What promises has God given to you that when you have acted on them you have experienced the very blessing God promised?
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the certainty of your Word. Let this Christmas account of Luke help us to be like the shepherds to hear your word, believe your word, and live your word. AMEN.