Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men – Luke 2:14
At first glance, this is one of the strangest scenes in the Bible.
Angels appear to shepherds, in the middle of nowhere. Heavenly messengers announce the advent of the Messiah, proclaim a cosmic call to worship, and declare peace on earth — not in the halls of Caesar or the temple of the Jews, but in a grass field and to a ragtag group of socially ignored, insignificant, unnamed sheep herders.
This would be like the President of the United States giving his victory speech to a handful of farmhands in a corn field. Only this is infinitely more striking. The people of God had been waiting for thousands of years for the promised Christ, who would be called the wonderful Prince of peace.
But what a beautiful reality is here displayed. God in the highest is coming down to take on flesh, and so angels from heaven are heralding it to shepherds. The inexpressible condescension of the Lord is not only announced—it is illustrated.
Jesus Christ came down from heaven to save the socially ignored, the sinful, and the insignificant. He did not just publicize good will toward men: He showed good will, even to the smallest men.
The audience matched the message. The hearers represented the good news.
No wonder, then, that the message included a call for the sinful and the lowly to give glory to God in the highest! The highest is come to the lowest; praise is only appropriate.
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