When the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Son of Man she named her child Jesus, as instructed by the angel Gabriel. Jesus is Yahushua, which means “Yah is Salvation.” Jesus came to save the lost. He is our salvation since we have forgiveness of sin and a restored relationship with God through His death and resurrection.
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“’And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:21-23 (NKJV)
Our Savior’s birth was announced when an angel appeared before shepherds tending their flock by night. He announced the birth of Jesus and told the fearful herders where to find Him. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” Luke 2:13-14 (NKJV)
The angels introduced the shepherds to their Savior.
“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12 (NKJV)
A newborn? What? The angels clearly stated the Savior of the World was a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths. Apparently the shepherds took the angel at His word as they sought out the babe and found Him with His parents in Bethlehem. Furthermore, they spread the word. They didn’t fear what others would think. They “made it widely known” that their Savior was indeed among them.
“Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 2:17-18 (NKJV)
Israel was looking for their promised Savior. They were waiting. Many were aware of the Old Testament prophecy stating a virgin would conceive and bear a Son (Is. 7:14). Bethlehem was also mentioned (Micah 5:2) as the birthplace of the One to be Ruler in Israel. Sadly, many Jews did not recognize their Messiah, even though Jesus was living amongst them. We should pray for those of the Jewish faith and ask God to give them revelation knowledge of His Son. The Old Testament contains 44 prophesies about the coming Savior. If we learn them… we can share them as well. http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2 (NKJV)
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
The story of angels announcing the birth of Christ to lowly shepherds has several lessons. First, expect and watch for blessings. Share them with others as what blesses you will surely encourage and bless others. Second, do not be afraid when God speaks. He will equip us for every task and journey. Have ears ready to listen. God values humility. His angels appeared to shepherds, not rich merchants or politicians. Christ was born in a humble shelter, a manger for his bed. Praising God is worthy of mentioning, and we can take our cue from the heavenly hosts.
Finally, have goodwill toward men. This means your unfriendly neighbor, the relative who gets under your skin, the hardworking postal worker, the coworker who bit your head off during a meeting, and the department store clerk who did not count back your change properly. As the glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds, let the light within you shine bright this Christmas season. Put the Christ back into Christ-mas. Introduce yourself to the other Christmas shoppers as you wait in the checkout line.
Invite somebody to church or dinner and sing the praises of Christ Jesus as you deck your halls with balls of holly, or mistletoe.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)