Thursday, October 29
One moment, they are a band of ordinary shepherds caring for an average flock of sheep outside a small town. In the next moment, they are the recipients of an amazing appearance of angels who bear startling, wondrous, world-shattering news. Motivated by that appearance, they seek out the child whom the angels announced.
Imagine standing with the shepherds and gazing into the manger. What would you see? Luke 2:8-20.
We must admire the first pupils of the Master Teacher – Joseph and Mary and the shepherds. The humble conditions of Jesus’ birth give no indication of the wonder of the incarnation – that, in the Person of this Infant, God has become One with humankind. However, with the aid of visions, dreams, and angels, those first students of His are able to look beyond the outward appearance of Jesus’ birth. The shepherds share with others the identity of this infant, that He is “a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11; compare Luke 2:17).
How do the Wise Men respond to the news of the birth of Jesus? How does Herod respond? Matthew 2:1-12.
Before He has spoken His first parable or performed His first miracle, the Master Teacher is worthy of our worship because of who He is. To fully appreciate the later teaching ministry of Jesus, we must join these early pupils, the Wise Men, in their worship of the Master Teacher. The one whose teachings we admire is more than a wise educator. He is God come to dwell with humankind. Christian education is rooted in the worship of Christ.
With Wise Men, shepherds, and angels, we are called to worship Christ, the newborn King – and to see in the infant Jesus the reality of God Himself.
Think about what the incarnation of Jesus means regarding the character of God. The Creator of all the universe, which is so big that we cannot grasp it – this God “humbled himself” by coming into humanity, lived as Jesus lived, and then died on the cross, bearing in Himself the punishment for our sins. Why is this such good news?