The angels that appeared to the shepherds were walking, not floating in the sky. Taking a closer look at the Scripture. It would tell us that the shepherds were gathered about the campfire in the middle of the night. Some of the shepherds were sleeping and at least one would be standing guard assuring the safety of the sheet. A radiant figure walked out of the darkness to make this announcement of Jesus’ birth. He did not fly. He just walked out the night. Afterwards, an army of angels surrounded the shepherds. The angels burst into shouts of praise. How panic stricken the shepherds must have been as the entire area exploded with brilliance from what the Bible calls God’s Shekinah glory. Sleeping shepherds were awakened by shouts and sounds like that no man has ever seen. As the Angels directed the shepherds, without hesitation they made plans to go see what had happened. This text of Luke 2:8-20 became a song in the early church.
The angel said that they brought good tidings of great joy to all people. God stepped into human history and took matters into his own hands about the broken relationship between him and mankind. it is a joyous event when God intervenes and redirects our life through salvation. From the beginning, the gospel message is to everyone of any race or culture etc.
Considering verse 11 look at what happened, when it happened, where happened, and who was involved. God’s timing is right and specific to any person who wants to respond. God foretold and forewarned mankind of his intentions and the consequences. The titles of the baby are Savior, Christ, Lord, judge, and Jesus. He is the only one capable of rescuing us from sin and the consequences as the anointed majestic Messiah. There is some confusion about finding the baby. The Angels said the baby Jesus would be wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. It really was nothing that remarkable about such a state because all babies were wrapped in swaddling clothes. Even the manger is not that unusual because it was a feed trough used as a bed for the baby. Surely poor people did similar things for their newborns. To me, what is remarkable about the instruction of the Angels is that they said you shall find. This is a two-part statement. They said go. They said you shall find. Today, whoever goes in the name of God and follows his leadership will find what God has in store for him.
The angel said glory to God in the highest. It is questionable whether they sang it or said it. Nonetheless, this was the residents of heaven expressing their supreme opinion and regard to honor God in the most magnificent way. Keep in mind that the Angels already knew Jesus in heaven before he was born. The statement they made was a continuation of their worship. There was much evil done in the day Jesus was born. However, the circumstances and the timing of God was just right for the coming of the Messiah.
The phrase, “peace on earth” has long been misunderstood. There was no peace on earth. There was no peace after Jesus was born or during his lifetime. The better translation is, “peace among men of goodwill.” There was much evil done at that time by individuals and by the government of the Roman empire. The city of Jerusalem would soon be destroyed in 70 A.D. To understand what the Angels were saying, we must notice that the Prince of peace has arrived. So, peace did come to earth in the form of the baby Prince of peace. Someday all will submit to him and confess him as Lord. Those men of goodwill are the ones that would have spiritual peace.
This was such a glorious message that came out of the darkness of the world just as to the shepherds in their fields. Shepherds were the first evangelist in a troubled world. What a contrast it was between the Angels adoration of Jesus and how men treated him. He is God incarnated into a human body so that Body would be the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of man. The Bible says it is a fearful thing to be in the presence of God, but Jesus made it possible by his intercessory work in our behalf. As the angels told the shepherds, there will be peace on earth because Jesus made peace with God. Read Romans 5:1 and Philippians 4:7.May this Christmas be the most special of all for my readers because they have realized a new peace in the message for men of goodwill. To those readers that have not asked Jesus to forgive them of their sins and to come into their lives making them a newborn creature in Christ, this is your first Christmas as a man of goodwill by accepting Christ as your Savio