An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12.
When you think of good news, what news comes to mind? Maybe it’s the day you got married, got a promotion or had a child. Either way, good news is usually a time of great memories; a time that could have changed a situation in your life forever. I remember when Taniele and I got engaged. It was one of the most nerve-racking, heart pumping moments of my life. When we were dating, marriage was always the goal. We spoke about it almost daily, dreamt about it, desired it, and worked towards it. Dropping to one knee to ask her to marry me was one of the greatest moments of my life; a longing fulfilled. FYI, I proposed with Justin Bieber playing in the background… I’m not proud of that, but it worked!
I remember driving home that afternoon and phoning our parents who both had no idea that today was the day I was going to propose. We told our parents, and it wasn’t too long after that all the phone calls and messages came in to congratulate us. It was good news, and it spread like wildfire. We had people congratulate us that we had not spoken to in years and some people we didn’t even know. There is something special about good news, it’s as if it has a natural tendency to bring people together, especially when living in a world where good news doesn’t seem to be as popular as the bad. Luke records one of the most significant moments in history, a moment of which I don’t think he fully understood himself just how good it was, or how great the joy was, to bring to the world. It was indeed, “good news that caused great joy.”
Just as Taniele and I longed for the day we were going to marry; likewise, the people of the time were longing for the Messiah to come. The difference is, Tin and I waited three years for our good news while others waited some 700 years. I peg it down to 700 years because the book of Isaiah was written around 700 BC and Isaiah had many prophecies of Jesus’ birth. Isaiah is also the most quoted book in the New Testament, and that shows it must have been a prominent book which was frequently read, and it must have caused great expectation and a longing for the Messiah to come. Luke writes about a moment that many had been waiting for, talking about, expecting – the moment the Messiah was born. The birth of Jesus was a moment to behold, a moment that would not only go down in history but shape what the future was going to be forever. This was the moment that our calendar now marks as bridging BC and AD, a moment that we currently use in our timeline.
It’s unfortunate that the people only came to realise the Messiah had arrived at His crucifixion. I guess the saying, “You only realise what you have once you lose it,” was one of great accuracy in the case of Jesus. There was an acknowledgement of the Messiah’s arrival by a few at His birth, but a great awakening and acknowledgement at his crucifixion. I can imagine the regret and remorse of those who knew Jesus while He was still on earth and didn’t make the best of His time with them. The revelation that this indeed was the awaited
Messiah at the time of His crucifixion must have been one of great news but at the same time great sadness due to the wasted time of unbelief.
The birth and death of Jesus to this day remains the greatest news. It is news that should spread throughout the world as every soul that does not yet know Him, is longing and waiting to be told and to be found.
I can’t wait to open presents on Christmas morning with my daughter and once again have the opportunity to explain to her that we only open gifts to remind us of the ultimate gift, Jesus Christ, and how having Him in our hearts gives us a joy far greater than that of receiving gifts. Is Jesus good news to you? There is a joy waiting for those that have not yet heard about Him. The Christmas season should not only remind us but once again challenge us to share the news that can and should change the lives of those who hear it forever. It should not be kept to ourselves, and we should not hesitate to share it. We live in tough times, where depression, brokenness,
desperation, addictions and many other things linger at the doorstep of everyone’s lives. The saddest thing we could do is rob those who do not know Him of this good news that will cause great joy!