Luke 2 vs 8-14: Joy to the World
December 12th, 2021

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night.

David had fed his sheep in those same fields around Bethlehem, and today, 3,000 years later, there are still shepherds feeding ___________ in those fields.  Shepherds typically kept watch over their fields by night from April to November.  Shepherds were singled out in the Talmud as an __________________ group, and not qualified to bear witness in trials. The nature of their calling kept them from ________________ the ceremonial law.  God sent the message of Jesus’s birth to the same people that Jesus would ___________His ministry on—the outcasts and sinners that He came to save, who knew that they needed a savior.  They were open to what He had to say, and available and ____________to share the good news of Jesus’ birth.

And what ____________ were they watching?  Many of the sheep ___________ in the area would have been used for the sacrificial offerings at the Temple in Jerusalem.  These guardians of the temple sacrifices, these unworthy, sinful men who saw so many sacrificial lambs born, would get to be present at the birth of the “lamb who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). 

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 

In this dark of night–suddenly and angel of the Lord appeared near them, with the Glory of God shining all around them.  They were terribly ____________.  

10 And so the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 

The angel proclaims the good news, the Gospel.  When Jesus comes, it’s always __________news. It’s good news to you and me. We celebrate Christmas because we ______________ at the coming of our Savior and Lord. Joy of Jesus Christ

The source of Jesus’ Joy and our Joy is God

Jesus has an intimate, __________________ relationship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  When the seventy-two came back rejoicing that the evil spirits were subject to them in Jesus’ name, He rejoiced with them In Luke 10:21   At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for doing so was well pleasing in Your sight.

Jesus explained in John 5:19-20 that it was His relationship with the Father that motivated His every _________.  Jesus was a perfect ____________________ of God.  In 2 Cor 4:4b Paul says that believers see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  The Joy of the Lord, and doing His will was what ___________________ Jesus.  In John 4:34 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” 

Do you want joy, peace, contentedness, wisdom and knowledge?  Make God the ________________ of your Joy and follow Him completely.  This was what Jesus came to give you; what He purchased for you at Calvary.  Walk in it; abide in it and Live.

God’s takes Joy and Delight in those who walk in His ways

The Joy we have in God, and the delight He takes in us is bound up in the _______ that we live our lives.  And when God delights in us, and we walk in His ways, we have only joy and gladness at His presence In Acts 2:28 28  You have made known to me the ways of Life; You will make me full of gladness with your Presence

His Joy will sustain us and be with us, no matter what we go through

As we keep our eyes on the example of Jesus, we emulate His example of Keeping our eyes on God, and the Joy that we will have in His presence.  Hebrews 12:2  2 looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  As we live our lives doing God’s will, we have confidence that God will never leave us or forsake us. 

Jesus Christ’s coming brings great joy

And so, in Luke 2: 10-11, those shepherds couldn’t even imagine the joy that those angels were ____________ talking about.  Jesus’ birth pointed to this joy in God that was now possible.  That’s why we see His Birth surrounded by Joy.  As we learned last week in Matthew 2:10  When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  Or in consider Elizabeth’s words in Luke 1:44 Luke 1:44 (NASB 2020) — 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.   Or the Joy of Simeon as He held baby Jesus at the Temple in Luke 2:28–32

Joy in Jesus’ Ministry

John 17:13 “But now I am coming to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.

He said in John 15:11 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

John the Baptist describes his joy at seeing Jesus in John 3:29 — 29 He who has the bride is the groom; but the friend of the groom, who stands and listens to him, rejoices greatly because of the groom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.

To know Jesus Christ brings great joy

Luke 15:7 7 I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

The angel’s birth announcement of the long-awaited Messiah is good news of great joy to all people.  Jesus is the Savior of the World.  That’s why, even at His birth, this good news was declared to be “for all people”.  That’s why John 3:16 says “For God so Love the World”, or why 1st John 4:14 calls Him “the Savior of the World”.  Luke is especially emphasizing here, that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah

11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is [h]Christ the Lord. 

The angel tells them that today—this very day—Jesus has been born.  Jesus is first described as Savior—which was His prominent role as Messiah during His first coming, and second, as Christ the Lord, which is his prominent role in His Second Coming. 

12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

The angel’s sign to them is that they will find the baby, not wrapped in a fine receiving blanket, but in these strips of cloth, and lying in an animal feed trough. 

13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying,

And then, suddenly, the heavens burst open, and there appeared a portion of the ________________ host, the army of angels that serves God praising Him. 

14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.”

So, they are encouraging the shepherds to join with them in praising God to the greatest extent possible.  The Peace that Jesus makes available between God and man.  It’s letting the shepherds know that Jesus is bringing this opportunity to have a ___________________ relationship with God. 

15 When the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, then, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”  So, why did God choose the shepherds?  He chose the shepherds because they would ________________to Him.  God chose them because they weren’t too __________ for God.  God has sent His son Jesus into the world to be born in a manger, but also so that He could be born in our hearts.  God wants you to accept His free gift of His Son, so that you will have the peace that the angels spoke of, then end of the conflict with God.  __________________ to Him today.  Begin the most ________________ relationship of your life.