“8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.” – Luke 2:8-9
A single angel appeared to a group of shepherds out in a field and directed them to the animal shed where Jesus had been born. Verse 9 describes how the appearance of this angel overwhelmed the shepherds.
The angel appeared and the glory of the Lord shone all around him. (I’m not sure what that looks like, but it made grown men scared. It says, “they were filled with great fear.”) These were outdoors-men, accustomed to dealing with wild animals and the dangers that lurk about in the late hours of the night. Yet, when they saw this angelic creature, they were struck with fear.
Evidently, one angel is adequate for getting the attention of a group of shepherds and directing them to a barn to see a baby. However, it was completely inadequate for just one angel to respond to the significance Jesus’ coming. The importance of the angel’s news and its ultimate outcome for mankind required an army of angels to proclaim it!
Luke 2:13 continues by saying, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God…”
Verse 13 describes a scene that must have been truly awesome to behold. Here a multitude of “heavenly host” appears and proclaims the huge significance of Christmas.
- I wonder if there were so many angels that it filled the entire sky?
- I wonder if the glory surrounding this group shone so brightly that it was brighter than daylight?
Whatever it looked like, it must have been an incredible sight!
In verse 14, we have the exact words of the angels: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
This was the appointed day. It was the “right time.” It was the right place – exactly where the prophets predicted. History documents it. A savior was born. So, what is the significance of that savior being born? The angels told us in no uncertain terms:
1. God’s Glory was revealed in the highest way – “Glory to God in the highest”
2. Peace is available to those with whom God is pleased – “on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”