Have you ever taken the time to think about what the shepherds saw that first Christmas? They saw angels and the glory of the Lord shining all around them. The angels brought “good tidings of great joy”. They were heralding the arrival of “the Saviour, Christ the Lord”. And what did they see when they followed the angels’ instructions to go and look in a stable in Bethlehem? “A Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Their response to seeing the Saviour? “Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying that was told them concerning this Child.”
Have you ever wondered what the wise men saw on what might have been the third Christmas? They followed a star that caused them to “rejoice with exceedingly great joy.” They came looking for “the King of the Jews.” What they found was a little two-year old Jewish boy with his mother, in a small, mud and straw dwelling, in a poor, little town called Bethlehem. Yet Matthew 2:11 tells us:
“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.”
What would cause these wealthy, learned scholars from the East to fall at the feet of a little Jewish boy? Isaiah 53:2 tells us that “there was no beauty that we should desire Him.”
The neighbours and family noticed nothing special about Mary’s son. What was different about these men that they could see, what no one else saw? I believe that God opened their eyes to see their Saviour before them, and when they received that revelation, they could not help but respond in the only way possible – they worshipped Him.
Fast forward more than two thousand Christmases later. What do you see? Christmas lights twinkling? Dinners cooking in the oven? Presents under a tree? The Christmas season can get so busy that we don’t see Jesus. We forget the reason for the season.
This year, why not be intentional in choosing to be filled with exceedingly great joy, not because of our circumstances, or the gifts we receive or don’t receive, but because we remember the good tidings that the angels brought. The reality of what they told the shepherds remains true today – there is a Saviour and His name is Jesus Christ the Lord.
Let’s be intentional to share these glad tidings of great joy so that all who hear will marvel at the things we tell them. Let’s be intentional to pray for our family, friends and strangers – that God would open their eyes so that they would see Jesus for who He truly is. That they would encounter the love of God and fall down and worship Him.
Open our eyes Lord that we may see.