Genesis 21:12 – And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Romans 9:7 – Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Luke 2:8 – And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luke 2:9 – And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Luke 2:10 – And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luke 2:11 – For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:12 – And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luke 2:13 – And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luke 2:14 – Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Hello readers, I’ve got a couple of thoughts today. So once again this will be a conversational type blog so I apologize if it’s not structured enough! The first thought is on the shepherds watching their flocks by night. That is the job of a shepherd, and the sheep are in the most danger in the night. There are wolves out there, the flock needs to be guarded and guided. Well obviously there are many things that could be expounded upon just from this story. Jesus Christ is that great Shepherd of the sheep, but Christians are also meant to be shepherds, particularly pastors and those who have an influence on the lives of others… that is they have a flock that they are responsible for, be it their own family or their congregation or what God has put them in responsibility over.
Often we don’t see Jesus Christ in all of this. It’s so possible to “do Christianity” and yet never have a true relationship and fellowship with the Lord Jesus, whom we profess with our mouth but in our lives we just do not know him. It was in the night that the angels appeared to these shepherds heralding the arrival of the Saviour and the King. People were looking for a king, but they needed a Saviour. Oh boy, a misunderstanding of Jesus Christ, of who he is and God’s plan and schedule, oh boy that tripped a lot of people up. Jesus came to a nation looking for national deliverance, but not wanting the spiritual deliverance for which he had come the first time. We need a good understanding of who Jesus is, and it starts with the shepherds, who are meant to be watching the flock.
It’s a little flock, but it’s God’s flocks, and there is a great and terrible duty that shepherds have today. But we need to see Christ each of us for ourselves. Christ will reveal himself to us when we are faithful in what he has called us to do. The Christian life isn’t real unless it’s real. What’s going to make that Bible alive to you is when you believe and obey it. The shepherds had an experience most of Israel did not have, and this world does not know Jesus Christ at all, many Christians so called don’t either. It’s all head knowledge, but there’s been no revelation, no illumination, no eyes opened… their lives lack God’s word and the direction his word gives. God’s word will lead you to the Saviour. Well, these shepherds were on the job, they weren’t sleeping (Christians shouldn’t be found sleeping!), they were watching out for their flocks. There are many shepherds out there today who are sleeping on the job, the flocks out in the wilderness and the shepherd is nowhere to be found. Jesus looked upon the multitudes that had come out to see him and he saw they were as sheep that had no shepherd. Where were all the shepherds in Israel?
You know, we are in the night right now. The morning is coming, when the morningstar arises, when Jesus returns and destroys his enemies with the brightness of his coming. But for now, this world is in darkness, spiritual darkness. And darkness is enveloping us, we need a light, just like a light was required in Genesis 1. Salvation is when the light is turned on in the darkness, and Jesus is the light, you’ll never get light for your life until you’ve found Jesus Christ in his word, in the gospel of truth. A very small amount of people got to see Jesus or recognized him for who he was, because very few were looking for him. The shepherds were some of those people that did get to see Jesus Christ as a babe lying in the manger. This world doesn’t see Jesus Christ, he’s hid from this dark world, and only a few will see him for who he is and believe on him.
I was thinking this morning about the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. Nothing is in the Bible just to fill space, it’s a very important detail worth mentioning in the Bible. Like most truth in the Bible, we never really touch the hem of the garment, the scripture has such infinite value. But I was thinking of how all the promises of God to Abraham right back in Genesis 12 were wrapped up in the birth of a promised son… Isaac. You know, everything God has promised us is contained in the promised seed, the person of Jesus Christ. From him flows all life, all light, all truth, the way to God. Everything hinges upon Jesus Christ.
Those shepherds came in and found baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, and I just thought about that fact, everything from God to us is contained in him giving us his Son Jesus Christ. You see, we all come from Adam, and Adam sinned, that’s why we all share the commonality of humanity and depravity, because we have the same father, Adam. But Jesus started a new bloodline if you will, because he had no earthly father, his father was God. And thus Jesus is the new Adam, and when you believe on Jesus Christ, you go from in Adam where sin and death flows from, to in Christ who has eternal life.
So when you look at the swaddling clothes, Jesus got swaddled with many things. He took our sin, our humanity, our pain, our sorrow, our curse, our problems and he gave us his righteousness and immortality and life and blessedness to be clothed with. Jesus copped a raw deal, but it’s because he loved us, and he is the gold standard in what love is and what love looks like and how to love someone. This world thinks love is taking, but love is actually giving, and God commended his love unto us in giving us his only son, the best he had.
This time of year is so important because of the end to which Jesus was born. His birth was the arrival, but as he grew up he said, I must be about my Father’s business. He was born with a purpose. The Bible says he was slain from the foundation of the world. He had a purpose in obeying what God had determined for him. Similarly, our purpose and fulfillment for life comes from obeying God’s word. Jesus always obeyed his Father, he always did those thing that pleased him and he spoke what his Father said to speak. The wonderful thing is, we also have God to our father just as Jesus had, no we aren’t God, but when we are born again, God becomes our Father.
The Bible says we have been begotten again in 2 Peter. I had often wondered about that “again” part. We’ve been begotten again. You see, we were begotten once by God, God created a man called Adam, he was made in God’s image. But things went so terribly wrong from there. Man chose sin, disobedience and rebellion. Being born again is the “again” part of that verse. Because unless you’re born again, you will die in your sins and go to hell. You’re not a child of God, a son of God until you get saved and born again.
All this is only possible because of Jesus Christ. His birth was a vital step in God redeeming humanity, a humanity lost to sin and disobedience restored through a perfect sacrifice, a perfect atonement, a perfect Saviour, a perfect word of the gospel. So while we can idolize his birth, it really is important to look at the end point, because he was born to an end. Just like you were born to an end, there is a goal for each of our lives, a promised land. God had a promise to Abraham, and it was a land to go to that he would give him and cause to inherit through his son. All this was a picture of Jesus Christ as we read the Bible knowing that the scripture is the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Abraham simply believed God, and if you believe God’s word like his did, you have the same promises, because those promises were to faith. They always knew someone was coming who would be not just a saviour, but The Saviour. Someone to lift man out his mire, to cause us to inherit God’s blessing and approval and acceptance. Noone was ever born who could fulfill that. The best men were sinners, the best men died. Everyone before Christ had died, death won. Sin won. The law was just so certain and bearing down on all of us. Then Jesus was born, and he was different to any other man ever born and to have existed. He didn’t sin, he had power that no man had, he had authority and wisdom and knowledge, he forgave sin, he made promises, he rose from the dead, he ascended into heaven. He was the one, he was the Christ, and not just was, but IS, because he doesn’t belong in the past, in a manger two thousand years ago, but that babe grew into a man who is alive forevermore who ever lives to make intercession for his own, for those who have believed on him, those that are his and him theirs.
So I guess the two main thoughts really revolve around the shepherds watching their flocks by night. It is night time, look at society, and we need to be watching for souls. And when we are doing that, God will reveal himself to us, we will see the glory of the Lord. Maybe you’re not seeing the Lord because you’re living in disobedience, you’re not being faithful to what God has called you to do. Maybe you’re just going through life and it seems mundane and uneventful and you’re wondering is this all true, well be faithful to God, believe in his word and God will confirm it to you and move in your life, just trust him. More is happening than you think. Watch and pray.
The other thought was the swaddling clothes. All the promises of God to mankind are based on his Son Jesus Christ. Forgiveness of sin, righteousness, eternal life, hope, joy, fulfillment, happiness and purpose are based on him and through him. So he not just needed to be born back then… but you know, Jesus needs to be born in your heart today. When you get saved, there is a birth, it’s no longer knowing about a man called Jesus sometime in history, it’s a birth in your own heart. Something needs to be conceived in you, and it’s conceived by hearing the gospel and believing, and someone is born in you, a new man sinless, born again, who’s Father is God. Any saved person cries out Abba Father. We know we are God’s children when we get saved because that’s not ministered to us by a man, but by the Holy Spirit.
God clothed himself with flesh, he took part in flesh and blood, he bore our sin, he knows our travails and pains and sorrows, he got falsely accused, he got beaten up, bloodied, he took all that voluntarily because he loved us and he was obedient to his Father. And in exchange, he got swaddled with all our rubbish, and exchanged them for his righteousness, holiness, life, light and truth. All the promises of God are wrapped up in Jesus, just as he was wrapped up in that manger. Those shepherds saw Jesus Christ and many people do not, because they obeyed the word of God, they were faithful… you see while many people can talk about Jesus and have their own opinion and version of who he is and what he’s said… a true believer knows from firsthand experience, because it’s reality in their life. They truly praised and worshiped Jesus Christ, a place not many of us find, as true praise and worship isn’t based on emotions and feelings, but on the truth of God’s word.
The shepherds heard what the angel of the Lord said… and they said to each other … let us now go to Bethlehem. You know, you can do Christmas a hundred times in your life and never actually go to Bethlehem. You think you’ve been there, you’ve heard it all so much you think you’ve been there, but you’ve not been there. Luke 2:15 – And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
I hope my readers have gotten something out of this blog. This blog is all about pointing you to Bethlehem, the house of bread. It’s aim is to point you to the bread of heaven, Jesus Christ. I’ve always said, get in God’s word for yourself, find out who God is. Maybe he’s not who you think he is, God is not who our sinful and corrupted imagination makes him to be, he’s who his word says he is. At Christmas this year, you can go to Bethlehem for yourself, you’re invited to come, go and see the Lord Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who came to save us from our sins. He is the Saviour, and he is the King, and he didn’t just come, he’s coming again! All those promises of God were wrapped up in the Son who would be born, as wrapped up as the babe in the manger… that’s who you need to believe on. God’s word guided those shepherds to the manger, may God guide and minister the truth of the word of the gospel to your heart and soul today.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)