“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2: 11
I was hung up on this verse. The more I read it, the more ‘meat’ I saw in it. It is as if each phrase is trying to tell us something. I am not a journalist, but in this verse it seems to answer some basic journalistic questions concerning the birth of Jesus: when, where, what, and who?
TODAY— For the shepherds it meant that very day their centuries wait for a Messiah was fulfilled. For us, even in the midst of preparations for Christmas, we are minded as in 2Cor. 6: 2, “At the accepted time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation.” Look no longer; look no farther for any means of salvation, peace, and joy than Jesus.
IN THE CITY OF DAVID— This reminds us of the historical aspect of Jesus’ birth. Jesus, who was God becoming man, was born in a specific place on this earth, Bethlehem; he lived, taught, and died in a specific area of the world known then as Palestine. (Check out Micah 5: 2 that prophesied the town of His birth, some seven hundred years before Jesus was born!) This tells us that Jesus was a real person born in a real place and time in history
HAS BEEN BORN— This event told the shepherds and us that the God of the Universe for a time became human for us. SAVIOR— The first description here of who Jesus is. The name Jesus is the same as that of Joshua in the Old Testament. It means Savior or ‘God Saves’. This is no ordinary baby; this is the One who came to save the world from the penalty of their sin.
CHRIST— This means He is the ‘Anointed One’, the fulfillment of the prophecies telling about a coming Messiah or Deliverer. He is not a king or a general to be a political or military deliverer. He is better than that; He delivers people from the power and penalty of sin and death.
THE LORD— He is God Himself; the name is representative of divine sovereignty. He is, as we will talk about later the One before whom ‘every knee will bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.’ (Philippians 2: 10,11)
These names remind us of the awesome gift God gave us in the Person of Jesus. (I use this word ‘awesome’ in its most powerful sense, and not in the way it is overused in our day.)
How wonderfully specific and power packed is each word in the announcement to the shepherds, and to us!
“ As the song goes, ‘O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder…’ consider the specifics and the treasure being announced to the shepherds, I am humbled by how personal that announcement is to us over two thousand years later. My manmade plans and ideas for this season seem pretty puny as ways to express gratitude for the precious gift You gave us by giving us Jesus. All praise, glory, and honor be unto You, my Savior, Deliverer, and Lord!”