Matthew R. Perry

Lessons From the Manger, Part II: God Conquers Our Peace Through the Good News (Luke 2:8-14)

In Christmas, Devotional on December 22, 2006 at 11:06 am

angelstoshepherds.jpgYes, they were in the same region, but they had little idea of the events that were taking place. Shepherds were reviled in that culture. The nature of their work did not permit them entrance into the Temple. They could not even serve as witnesses in court. Far from the status of Mary and Joseph who were from the line of David and Abraham and were from the town of Bethlehem, these shepherds were outcasts — at least in that culture.

Yet God brought them into the story, didn’t he? Whereas God used the events of the day to bring Joseph and Mary to where he’d have them, God brought his heavenly host to the shepherds to bring them where they needed to be. If the shepherds were surprised to see human beings approach them, imagine their response when angels came to deliver the news.

These angels were not like the ones depicted in the paintings of old —those who seemed to meek and mild. This is the host of heaven — God’s warriors! Yet these warriors were used by their Commander-in-Chief to conquer our peace. The angel came and said that the news they had will be of great joy … for all the people. Something rather significant was happening here. God is conquering our peace through the Gospel of Christ. How? First, he is breaking down social barriers set up in that culture. It would not be those who were religiously pure outwardly or those who commanded a certain financial or educational station in life that could approach God in worship and service — God is conquering our peace through the Gospel of Christ. How? First, he is breaking down social barriers set up in that culture. It would not be those who were religiously pure outwardly or those who commanded a certain financial or educational station in life that could approach God in worship and service — by God coming to the shepherds and those in the lowly strata of society, he makes a way for everyone regardless of where they are to come to Him.

Secondly, God broke down spiritual barriers as well. Dr. Luke tells us this:

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

[14] “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

The peace is not a political peace or a cultural peace but a spiritual peace where a holy God is reconciled to sinners. This is what Christ accomplished. He is our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7); he leaves his peace with us (John 14:27); he gives us peace with God (Romans 5:1); Christ’s peace guards our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7); and that peace is to rule our hearts (Colossians 3:15).

These verses and many more show just how our Prince conquered our Peace through this Good News for all the people.  He is a Savior, yes.  But he is also Christ the Lord — the Word made flesh who dwelt among us.  Won’t you behold His glory that’s full of grace and truth this Christmas?

(Part III:  God compels us to plumb the Gospel’s depths — Luke 2:15-20)

 

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