Rev Dr. Philip Lee's sermon from Christmas Day Service on December 25, 2019
The good news of Jesus’ birth
The most amazing event that took place in this world is God who came in the flesh and appeared on earth. He abandoned His throne in the highest of the heavens and came to the lowest place on the earth and was born among the animals in a manger in the Inn. The weather was frigid cold at that time and Jesus was born in this circumstance. The birth of Jesus Christ among the many people that were born was made known first to shepherds keeping watch over their flocks in the field. The birth of Jesus Christ was “good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10). And this news was that a Savior has been born, who is Christ the Lord in the city of David (Luke 2:11). Likewise, we must be the first people to hear about the return of the Lord. Should not we become the spiritual shepherds to receive this news first? If that’s the case, why was it that the shepherds were the very first ones to receive the news of the birth of Jesus?
The shepherds simply believed in the Word of God
The shepherds received the Word that Christ was born just as it was given to them. As soon as the angels went away, the shepherds headed for Bethlehem and they came in a hurry (Luke 2:16). Today, the angels proclaimed, “For you there has been born a Savior who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The angels proclaimed even a much harder Word for them to believe and that was this “Savior which is God who came to this earth is lying in a manger among the animals and this is a sign for you” (Luke 2:12). For man, this is something they could easily doubt. However, the shepherds believed in the Word of God just as it was relayed to them. People that truly believe do not ask questions, for they have no doubts or suspicions. Those who believe in the Word of God just as it is given to them are simple people (1 Thes 2:13). Out of all the Jews during that time, the ones who believed in the Word that Jesus was born were the simple people, the shepherds. For you and me today, let us become the simple people that believe in the Word just as it is given and may the news of the return of the Lord be given to us first.
The shepherds did the work that was entrusted to them
The shepherds kept watch over their flock by night (Luke 2:8). Thus, while everyone else was asleep, the shepherds were awake! Today, we must be awake in prayer (Luke 21:36). God looks through our hearts and looks at all of our deeds and actions and will evaluate us accordingly (Jer 17:10). In the midst of everyone that was asleep, the shepherds were awake and keeping watch over the flock by night and they heard the Word that the Lord was born (Luke 2:8). Today are we fulfilling the mission that was entrusted to us? For the shepherds to be able to fulfill their mission, the Word of the Lord‘s birth was relayed to them.
The shepherds were those to discover that baby Jesus was born
The angels gave two secrets to the shepherds. The first secret was that the baby Jesus was born in the city of David (Luke 2:11). The city of David speaks of Bethlehem because David was also born in Bethlehem (1 Sam 17:12, 15, 58; 20:6). The second secret was that the baby Jesus was lying in a manger and this truth was made known to them as a sign (Luke 2:12). The shepherds went to Bethlehem and went from house to house looking for Jesus lying in a manger. Today, we are the stewards of Christ that have been given the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1). The shepherds very diligently sought after the baby Jesus in every house in Bethlehem and looked in all the mangers (Luke 2:16). Finally, they discovered the baby Jesus and how joyful they must have been (Luke 2:17). Likewise, the magi came following the star and they found the star, how joyful must they have been (Matt 2:2, 9-11). The one that diligently searches will be able to meet Jesus and be able to discover where He is (Prov 8:17). Jesus will give rest to the heavy-laden, for He will take on all of our burdens and solve all of our problems (Matt 11:28) because in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:2-3). Today, no matter what problems we may be facing, if we diligently seek Jesus with the heart of the shepherds, then all of our problems will be completely solved through this Christmas.
The shepherds proclaimed the birth of the baby Jesus Christ
The shepherds made known the statement which had been told to them about baby Jesus (Luke 2:17). First they made it known to Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:19). Upon hearing these things, Mary treasured all of these things in the deepest parts of her heart. Secondly, the shepherds made known that the Savior is born and that Christ the Messiah for who they have been waiting for has come and they all wondered (Luke 2:18). This Word was so astounding that they could not believe it. After Jesus died on the cross and resurrected, His disciples could not believe it (Luke 24:41). Likewise, we must be ready to preach the Word in season and out of season (2 Tim 4:2). In the year 2019, we have come upon this Christmas Day and this great gift of Ezekiel’s Temple in the 11th Book of the History Redemption series has been given to us a gift. What great blessing we have received! Like the shepherds, may we be able to share the good news of great joy to the entire world. The shepherds shared with every person they met the news that baby Jesus was born. Let us also share this precious book of Ezekiel's Temple so that the entire world will be in amazement.
Conclusion: Let us turn glory over to God to the very end and keep our place with the mission that has been given to us. The shepherds kept their post with the mission that they were given. As they were sharing the news of the birth of the baby Jesus, they went back glorifying and praising God for all they had seen (Luke 2:20). This means they returned and went back to their original place. After Jesus resurrected, He told Peter to “feed my sheep” (John 21:15, 17). Today, we must return back to our positions in which we have been given a mission and diligently keep our post. In doing so, we will be the first to receive the news of the returning Lord. In the middle of the night, the glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds and in a moment, the darkness disappeared. In the year 2020, may the glory of the Lord shine upon our families, businesses, workplaces, and our children. And may there be the work of light and the work of prosperity before us in the year 2020.