Advent is the season leading up to Jesus’ birth. During this time of year we will exchange greetings of Merry Christmas, send Christmas cards to friends and family, and post many sayings on Facebook and Twitter such as: ”Jesus is the reason for the season” or “Let’s keep Christ in Christmas.”
These things are good. They not only cause us to think about Jesus, but they cause others who may never consider Jesus to do so.
While it is good and right for us to do these things, what I’m afraid of is that even though we speak about Jesus, write about Him, and celebrate His birth this time of year, we may not really know how the Bible calls us to respond to the good news of Jesus Christ.
How should we respond to the good news of Jesus Christ? In other words, what should we do after hearing the message of the gospel? The shepherds’ response in Luke chapter two acts as a model.
The Shepherds’ Response
The First Way They Respond is Immediately
In verses 15-16, Luke writes,
“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.”
Our response should be identical. When we hear the good news of Jesus – that He has come to save us, to restore our relationship with God, and make peace for us – we should respond immediately by seeking to confirm the truth of the message.
If we are apathetic and lackadaisical, it means we have not yet grasped the magnitude of the message, or our need for a Savior. As well as it means we don’t understand that this world cannot offer us the peace that only Christ can offer.
The Second and Third Way They Respond is by Believing and Telling Others the Good News.
In verses 17-18, Luke writes,
“And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.”
We should not only believe the gospel message, but we should also respond as the shepherds did by telling others. That is the proper response, and it should be our response.
The Last Way They Respond is by Glorifying and Praising God.
“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (Luke 2:20)
We too should respond by glorifying and praising God. In other words, God’s beauty, splendor, and majesty should capture our imaginations and thought, as well as we should obey His commandments, submitting to His rule over our life, and telling others about Him.
Why should we respond in this way?
Because God Himself has come to this earth to rescue us from death and destruction.
He planned out His rescue mission before the foundations of the world. Directed history to fulfill His plan. A plan He Himself fulfilled by leaving His throne in heaven, being born as a man in a manger, and going to the cross to die the death we should die, so that we might have life.
Isn’t that amazing? The King, the Creator of this world has come to rescue us from death and destruction while we were His enemies.
That is why we should glorify and praise God. That is why the message the Angel brought to the shepherds was good news. That is why we should respond to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Questions for Reflection
- Have you responded to the good news by searching out the truth?
- Have you responded to the good news by believing in Jesus?
- Have you responded to the good news by telling others the gospel?
- Have you responded to the good news by glorifying and praising God?