Luke 2:15,18 - So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
I'm often amazed, and yet not, at the order of God's things. We know this to be part of the great plan of God to bring a Savior into the world to take away all sins.
The shepherds were the first to be told of this Child's birth. Not the wise men. The lowly shepherd. ...the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." (Luke 2:10)
They responded...right away. When they shared what had happened, how they got there, the people marveled at their words.
This same news is given by someone to someone else daily. Do not be afraid, it is good tidings and great joy for all people. Will you respond? Do not fear...it is good tidings of great joy. How could it not? This Child became a Man who chose to die for you that your sins might be forgiven. Do not be afraid to respond to the good tidings. It will be a joyous decision. It's for all people.
Good tidings, of course, is good news, gospel, preaching. From Strong's Concordance: glad tiding are brought to one, one has glad tidings proclaimed to him; instruct concerning the things that pertain to Christian salvation. More of the definition of a root word: messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel. Anyone willing to share this gospel is a messenger.
I suspect in almost every instance the word comes from one who has also had a messenger sent to bring them the good news. By experience and sent by word of mouth. Sometimes God Himself will appear!
These shepherds, lowly as they were, shared some pretty amazing news. People marveled.
I still marvel at how I came, like the shepherds, to Christ. Not quite the same purpose, but I'll bet they left that manger, that Child, with a new outlook on life. I know I did. They heard and saw the good news. They saw Who would be the source of their new life.
Imagine if every person who heard the gospel message responded in the same way, Let us now go and see this thing that has come to pass. Imagine the difference it would make in this world. Imagine less evil, less crime, less hatred, less war.
But those who do respond can know those good tidings. They can marvel at what the good tidings bring, the peace and joy that comes as a result. It helps to have this in this day and age.
Christ came. Why do we celebrate if we don't really receive Him? I can understand those who are totally offended. They don't know Him. There are many who believe in Him but still have not truly received Him. It's more than just hearing. It's responding to the call to repent.
Hear the good tidings this season. Listen to the messengers who proclaim the gospel message, fearlessly and steadily. Believing that being born into a certain denomination or church or infant baptism will bring salvation is not all there is to this issue of salvation. The shepherds heard...they received the word and went to see. They knelt before the Child. They bowed humbly before this Child. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. (Luke 2:20)
Our hearts are to be bowed humbly before Him for the great thing that He has done. The shepherds heard and responded. May we all hear and respond to the call for salvation. What a great time of year for this. The Christmas songs will have more meaning. He is calling. Let your hearts be rent. May you fall on your knees before Christ.
Acts 2:37-39 - Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”