How the shepherds respond: They fear not.
by Zach Intveld
Throughout the Bible, fear seems to be the common response whenever someone encounters a divine visitation. What a relief it must be when the first words uttered by such a visitor are, “fear not”. This is the situation a handful of shepherds in Bethlehem found themselves in over two thousand years ago. What they experienced we still talk about to this day.
An announcement suited more for political rulers or spiritual leaders was instead given to lowly shepherds. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). God’s promise of a messiah, given all the way back in the garden of Eden, had been fulfilled.
By now, the fear that overwhelmed the shepherds had turned into joy as well as an urgency to see the child “now”. Luke records that they “made haste” to the manger where Jesus lay. I wonder how fast they were going!
We worship a God who is accessible, and like the shepherds on that historic day, we need to seek the Lord Jesus Christ with the same joy and excitement that they did. What do we have to fear when our minds and our hearts are fixed on Jesus?
For Advent devotions this year, we are using Pastor Tim Keller’s themes in his new book Hidden Christmas