An Astonishing Announcement

Consider the holy night—night divine, when Christ was born—as described and announced in Luke 2:1–14.

“And while they were [in Bethlehem], the time came for [Mary] to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:6–7 ESV).

Christmas reminds us of the astonishing truth that a Savior was born.

The long-expected Messiah came in the most unexpected of ways. A baby—precious, dependent, fragile. But, this baby was “born a child and yet a King.”

Last year, my wife and I celebrated Christmas for the first time as parents. This not only caused us to see our traditions with new perspective, but most of all, to consider the amazing story of Christ’s birth with new emotions, affections, and devotion. The shock of pregnancy. The joy of parenthood. The weight of responsibility. The development in the womb. The bond with the unborn child. The pain of birth. The awe of seeing, holding, and kissing your child for the first time. All of this, reminding us through human experience, that God the Son not only entered into human history, but He did so as a baby. A Savior was born.

As we consider this truth, may we be reminded of the purpose of His birth: “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4–5). Born lying in a manger, He died hanging on a cross. He was born, so we could be born again. As C.S. Lewis said, “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”

In considering this holy night, let us draw near to “fall on our knees,” to “hear the angels voices,” and may it stir us to worship as we “let everything within us praise His Holy name.”

God came near. The invisible became visible. The eternal stepped into time. The infinite became an infant. The all-powerful One became a baby dependent upon His own creation—”fullness of God in a helpless babe.”

God the Son became a man, in the most humble of ways:

  • He came as a baby, not a conquering king.
  • He was born in an obscure little town, not a great city.
  • He was born to ordinary parents, not people of prominence or power.
  • He was dressed in strips of cloth, not in royal robes.
  • Unnoticed by the world, with no room for shelter, in the most uncomfortable conditions, our Savior was born.

Such humility at His birth would be further demonstrated in His life, as Philippians recounts: He “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (2:7–8).

Not only was it a holy night, it was a silent night. Luke simply records that Mary gave birth to her firstborn son. No angelic song; no heavenly trumpets; no voice from heaven—until the shepherds came, whom the angels appeared to, announcing just who this baby is:

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of 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'” (Luke 2:10–11).

Consider the titles given to this newborn baby:

Jesus, our Savior: As the Scripture declares, He was named Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). He “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10), which is why we can confidently declare: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus saves.

Jesus, the Christ: The “Anointed One” came to fulfill the plan of redemption through His perfect life, atoning death, and triumphant resurrection. The Messiah accomplished His mission, and now commissions us to declare His message (John 17:4, 18). Jesus sacrificed.

Jesus is Lord: God in the flesh, He rules and reigns, and all His followers declare “Jesus is Lord!” And one day, every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, “to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10–11). Jesus is Supreme.

At the announcement of such good news about the birth of our Savior, it is no wonder that a multitude of heavenly hosts exclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14).

Let us join in giving glory to God as we worship our Savior, who is Christ the Lord, remembering that astonishing announcement: Good News of Great Joy for All People—A Savior is Born!

Merry Christmas!