Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 16: The Person of Christmas
November 30 2001 by David Edgell , Luke 2:4-20

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 16: The Person of Christmas | Friday, Nov 30, 2001

Friday, Nov 30, 2001

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 16: The Person of Christmas

By David Edgell Luke 2:4-20 Each family celebrates its Christmas traditions with the intent of passing on memories that will last for years to come. These Christmas celebrations are a part of our desire to communicate the significance of the birth of Christ. We often repeat the saying, "Jesus is the reason for the season." But do we reflect this in the way we celebrate Christmas? The first Christmas was a time of celebration. But it was also a time of proclaiming the gospel to Israel and ultimately to the world. A New Testament proclamation of the gospel happened in Bethlehem the night of Jesus' birth.

The phrase the angels used, "I bring you good news" is the same phrase used in the New Testament for the gospel. The "good news" or "good tidings" is the word euaggelizo, which means to preach good news or announce the gospel, to evangelize. It was this message that was first proclaimed to the shepherds by the angels.

The shepherds were to announce this proclamation so it might be known and heard by all people, all the nations. It is the second time in Scripture an angel had a part in proclaiming the phrase "good news" to an individual. Luke 1:19 states, "the angel answered and said to him, 'I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I have been sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.'" It would be up to man to share the good news once the Messiah had come.

The occasion of the birth of Christ was the announcement that the proclamation of the good news was to go to all the peoples of the earth. It has always been God's will that the gospel go to all the peoples of the earth. Galatians 3:8 reveals, "the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'All the nations shall be blessed in you.'" Isaiah 42:6 states, "I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations ..." In Isaiah 49:6, "He says, 'It is too small a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.'" Also Paul quotes the following passages in Romans 15 to display this very point: 2 Sam. 22:50, Psalm 18:49, Duet. 32:43, and Psalm 117:1.

The angels specifically state the content of the good news, "For there is born to you ... a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." The celebration of good news is that a Savior has been born who is Messiah the Lord! This was no mere proclamation; it was the announcement of the promised Messiah. They proclaimed the person of Christmas!

We should view Christmas as the proclamation of the person of Christmas. Whether Jew or Gentile, the Messiah was to be a Savior to all the peoples of the earth. Every man, woman, boy and girl in our world has a right and a need to hear this proclamation of the person of Christmas.

The shepherd's celebration was a celebration of proclamation. Luke carefully documents the celebration of the shepherds: First, they called each other to action and acknowledge that they had been in the presence of God. Second, they made haste to obey and experience what God had promised. Third, they shared what had been proclaimed to them so others might understand God's "peace and goodwill toward men." Fourth, their message was transformational to others. Fifth, they had a new understanding of worship and continued in an attitude of adoration and praise.

Our celebration of Christmas should be reflected in our lives just as it was in the shepherd's lives. Jesus is the reason for the season and He is the person of Christmas that we celebrate and proclaim. Let's celebrate Jesus and proclaim Him to the nations as our Christmas celebration.

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11/30/2001 12:00:00 AM by David Edgell , Luke 2:4-20 | with 0 comments
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