Communication has changed quite a bit over the years. Our grandfathers received their news once a day when the newspaper landed with a thump on their porch. Then along came radio with hourly newscasts, providing much faster and more up-to-date reports. Telephones, television and computers further expedited the spread of news.
Today, information is almost instantaneous via mobile devices. A tsunami in Indonesia becomes known within minutes around the globe. While our high-tech world has certainly streamlined the process of sending and receiving news, all of our modern avenues are somewhat impersonal, since only a few recipients actually know the writer or announcer.
When God chose a method to announce the most newsworthy event the world has ever known, he opted not to use the latest gadget. Instead, he used a unique and personal way of telling the world that his Son had been born. One heavenly angel came to three shepherds, and the story began to spread. Good news travels fast, and suddenly, there was not one angel, but a multitude of them praising God.
These angels could not personally have benefited from Jesus’ birth since they didn’t need redemption, but it still was a miraculous act of God that deserved praise. Most readers of this article have benefited personally from Jesus’ birth, but sadly do not take opportunities to praise him either privately or publicly for it.
Once the shepherds visited the Babe of Bethlehem, they left the manger with a message (Luke 2:16-18). They didn’t keep the good news to themselves, but shared it with everyone they encountered. Evidently, theirs was not just matter-of-fact, impersonal reporting since those who heard it marveled, astonished at what they heard.
Another interesting announcement in connection with this singular event came to the wise men through a heavenly body (Matthew 2:2). This was a specifically designated star that was recognized for the unique message it shone into history. There is certainly mystery here, but the wise men understood the importance of the message. While we don’t have a specific biblical statement that says they carried the message back to their own country, we know they were not hesitant to share it with Herod. Once they had recognized God’s intention to send the Messiah, they surely spread the word.
After these events, the star could no longer be seen. The angels returned to their normal responsibilities. If the message of the newborn king was going to be spread, it was up to the shepherds – a lowly bunch of normal people. Today, God still chooses to use the lowly. He is not likely to send an angel to your next door neighbor. A special star will not appear to the person in the cubicle next to yours to encourage him to attend your Denver church. The Good News is personal, and sharing it is up to you and me.
Pastor Les Heinze
Pastor Les Heinze has served as the senior pastor of Red Rocks Baptist Church for over 25 years. His ministry includes regular preaching, shepherding, and oversight of both the church and Silver State Christian School. He holds a doctoral degree in Divinity, and enjoys preaching and ministering to God’s people both in the U.S. and on mission fields around the world. Pastor’s sermons are widely popular on SermonAudio.com, where more than 75,000 have been downloaded worldwide. He is also online on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
This sermon was preached at Red Rocks Baptist Church (14711 W. Morrison Rd. Morrison, CO 80465) by Pastor Les Heinze. These notes are provided as a recap and for further study into the message from God’s Word.