“And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’”Luke 2:13-14
It was Christmas morning. I eagerly hustled out to the waiting room to share the news. I had my camera in hand and was still wearing the scrubs issued to new fathers. My son, Jack, had just been born. Those in attendance immediately began calling other family members and friends to let them know that Jack had made his appearance. While there are few things in life more exciting than the birth of a child, can you imagine how thrilling it must have been to learn the Savior of the world had arrived?
Throughout Scripture, we see that God desires to make Himself known to all the earth and commissions His people to proclaim His greatness and goodness, His awesome power, and gentle, loving-kindness. We see this truth clearly in the telling of Christ’s first coming. In the Christmas story, three specific groups proclaim the Christ child’s birth, and all three are mentioned in the Christmas carol, “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”
The angels were the first proclaimers of Jesus’ birth. An angel told Mary she would give birth to the Messiah. An angel told the shepherds a Savior had been born. Then a host of angels appeared to praise God and publicly worship Him. Just picture it. The sky lights up with angels from heaven who are declaring that God became man and descended to earth as a baby.
The shepherds naturally hurried to see this baby. In Jesus’ day, shepherds did not hold a high standing in Jewish society. Yet, the angels didn’t come to the religious leaders, the wealthy, the devout citizens, or even the ruling Romans. They appeared to humble shepherds in a field of animals and trusted them with the message of the Christ child. These shepherds went to sit at the feet of Jesus and then told everyone who would listen about the Messiah.
Jesus doesn’t discriminate. He would later praise the Father for revealing His plan of salvation, not to the wise and learned, but to those with childlike faith. He uses the willing, and He uses the ones who will submissively serve Him and will sit at His feet.
The “sages”—or wise men as we more commonly call them—also became proclaimers of Jesus. These men were not of God’s chosen people, meaning natural descendants of Abraham. Yet God chose to guide them by a star to meet the Savior of the world. On their journey, they proclaimed His birth to the Romans and then went home, where I’m sure they told more people throughout the land the tale of meeting the King of Kings who had been foretold.
The Lord desires that all would know Him and proclaim Him. And when He victoriously returns, everyone will worship Him. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. But we are also called to worship and proclaim Him now. The angels, shepherds, and wise men set an example that we all should imitate. They all sought the Christ child, worshipped Him, and then went out to proclaim Him. We should and must do the same until the whole world hears the name of Jesus or we are called home. This Christmas season, I hope you will rejoice that Jesus came to seek and save the lost and share this exciting news with someone who needs to hear it.
Ben serves by leading and overseeing the ministries and operations of First Baptist Dallas as the Executive Pastor. He earned a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University and a B.B.A. from Hardin-Simmons University. He and his wife, Parris, have four boys.