And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12)
What good news this day brings, the GOOD NEWS that to us, to us and for us, the Savior had been born. In that city of David, Christ the Lord lay in a manger. He came into the world to save us from sin, our sin, and in doing so, is our Savior, our only Savior, apart from whom there is no other. The world might talk about the spirit of Christmas, Christmas cheer, and the holiday season, but apart from Christ’s birth and that babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, there would be no reasons to celebrate.
On that night when the angel visited those shepherds, it was unto them that the angel declared a Savior, Christ the Lord. But the angel did not speak generally, as if the Savior was for everyone else and the world, but not for them. Instead, the angel announced to the shepherds in their ears, Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger Luke 2:11-12). To them the angel proclaimed the GOOD NEWS. To them, to humble and lowly shepherds, did God reveal His salvation. To them, He spoke in their ears what no natural man could know, nor can know, unless God had revealed it, that salvation is through Jesus Christ, He who was born of man, and yet God in the flesh.
That Jesus Christ was man, few will deny. To be born into the world means to have flesh and blood. But that the child Jesus was also God, many will reject. This is because The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned 1 Corinthians 2:14). Unless God had revealed it, man would keep denying it. And man still denies it, not receiving the testimony and witness of God through the Apostles and the Prophets. But all who do believe in God’s Son, that He was (and is) both God and man, having two natures, the human and the divine, these demonstrate a God given knowledge, one that man cannot know apart from God’s revelation.
Apart form God’s revelation, the shepherds would not have known about the Christ child being born to them. Least of all would they have known that He we was wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger (Luke 2:12). The shepherds had not followed their own thoughts and inclinations. They instead believed the Word of the Lord as spoken through God’s messenger. And they found the Christ Child in just the place where it had been told them. The Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, the One born that day in the City of David was indeed wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
It could have been no other way, for the words of the messenger are as the words of the one who sends him. The angel sent to declare the Good News of Christ’s birth to the shepherds was simply repeating what God had given to declare. Therefore had the shepherds believed God’s Word. And they acted according to that Word, and found Him of whom the angel spoke.
The sign that the angel had given the shepherds would have meant nothing to them, had not God’s Word also been attached. A child wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger seems of little significance. But the angel’s word indicated differently. Here was a boy born, but not just any boy, but the boy who was Christ the Lord. Going by appearances alone would have told the shepherds otherwise. But judging by appearance is dangerous business. When it comes to matters of faith and eternal significance, these matters are not to be judged by the eyes. They are to be judged by the Word alone, God’s Word and nothing else. Judging by anything else will only deceive and mislead. Only the Word of God gives absolute and certain confidence.
Judging by the Word that our Lord has given, that of Holy Scripture, we know that that baby Jesus was not only man, but God in the flesh; that He fulfilled the Holy Law of God, died our death, and was raised to life; ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the throne of God. But all these things He did not do for Himself; neither for example, nor for show.
For you Jesus was born, lived, died, and rose again.
The words of the angel to the shepherds were not merely, ‘The savior of the world is born in the city of David.’ Instead, the angel of the Lord announced, Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord Luke 2:11).
With these words, that angel personalized that wonderful good news to the shepherds. And by believing the ‘unto you’, they made that Good News their own.
By believing the ‘for you’ of God’s Word, you, too, make His Word your own, even the ‘for you’ of sins forgiven, and the ‘for you’ of Christ’s body and blood for the remission of sins. What your eyes would tell you, deny when it comes to the things of God. Instead, go by what God says, sins forgiven and peace with God through Jesus the Christ. It does not make sense that the news of our Lord’s birth would be to mere shepherds and not to kings and nobles. It is beyond human comprehension that Christ was not born in a palace with help all around. But to kings and nobles Christ’s birth was not announced. In a palace Christ was not born. Neither was His death on the cross more highly exalted than His birth.
But He who died between two criminals is He who died as One of us, but God in the flesh, FOR YOU, that your sins not be counted against you. He who was laid in a manger is He who sits now in the heavens, FOR you, bestowing His grace and mercy only upon sinners, according His Word and promise. He whose birth the angel announced to lowly shepherds is He who announces God’s peace and good will upon all who hold Jesus to be their own and their only Savior.
And so He is, and also is He your Savior, not because you see with the eyes, but on account of God’s Word through your ears.
You have reason to rejoice this day. You have no reason to fear or to be afraid. For unto you Christ has come. And to you, your sin is forgiven. Amen.