Good news! Good News! A baby has been born who will one day become king! Do you remember the headlines in newspapers and on TV news when Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William? The same excitement was generated by the good news that Princess Kate had given birth to Prince George. It is amazing when the news of someone’s birth, who might potentially become king someday, generates so much excitement. Especially, a king whose reign will have little genuine impact on anyone’s life.
About 2000-years ago there weren’t any newspapers or 24-hour news channels to announce the good news of the birth of a king. So, Yahweh, the Ancient of Days, used a multitude of angels. The angel, who first appeared to the shepherds, declared that he was there to bring good news. Remember this event as recorded by Luke:
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
The angel first calmed their fears. He assured them he was not there to frighten them, but instead he was bringing good news that would bring great joy. And, this good news was not just for a few, but for all people. This is good news for everyone. We are not accustomed to good news for everyone. Usually, good news for one means bad news for others. The election results were good news for some, but bad news for others. When someone shares good news that their team won the game such means someone’s team lost. How often do we hear something that will be good news for everyone?
Why is this announcement good news? And, why is it good news for all people? The answer to these questions are found right in the simple announcement proclaimed by the angel.
First, the announcement is about the birth of a child. Very few things in a family can equate with the good news that a baby has been born. When that baby arrives and the announcement is made, it is good news. The shepherds are being told that a baby has been born. This is good news because it means that one like us has been born.
Secondly, the announcement is about the birth of a king. The reference to the child being born in the city of David is clearly the angel’s way of announcing the arrival of the king. The Messiah, who subdues all of Israel’s enemies, was to be a king from the line of David. This king’s reign would never end, but what the angel declares is that this is not just good news for Israel, but also for the whole world. This is good news because the baby will be king for everyone.
Thirdly, the announcement is about the birth of a savior. He is going to save people from their enemies, as Zechariah had prophesied in Luke 1:67-75. His salvation will be a complete salvation from the guilt, penalty, and power of sin. This is complete salvation that includes forgiveness for our sins and complete deliverance from the bondage of darkness. As Paul says in Colossians 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” This is good news because He will save us from our sins.
Fourthly, the announcement is about the birth of the Christ, or in other words the Messiah. Literally, this means the anointed one. This child is the chosen one of God, who will be anointed with the Holy Spirit, to accomplish the deliverance of His people. He is the one through whom God will restore His kingdom upon the earth. The full reverse of the curse of the fall is going to be achieved by this “chosen” or “anointed” one of God. This is good news because God’s Messiah has arrived.
Finally, the announcement is the birth of a baby that is “the Lord.” He is not just a messiah, but He is the Lord. God Himself has visited to redeem His people. He is Emmanuel. This is good news because God is with us.
So, taken all together here is the good news: A baby has been born who will be the king of all the world and whose kingdom will last forever. This king is a savior, who will save people from the guilt, penalty, and power of sin. They will be delivered from the domain of darkness to live in His kingdom. This child is the anointed of God to restore God’s kingdom on earth and reverse the curse of the fall. That little baby is God Himself. That is GOOD NEWS!
Let us be people of the good news. In fact, our name “Evangelical” comes from the Greek word that is used by the angel. It means “gospel” or “good news.” We are the good news church. We are people who have been transformed by the good news. We have been delivered from darkness and now live in the kingdom of God’s Son. We have been recreated by the good news into the image of that baby born in Bethlehem. Therefore, let’s be mobilized by the Holy Spirit this Christmas season and throughout the year to share the GOOD NEWS. WE ARE PEOPLE OF THE GOOD NEWS!!