Fear Not! (A Christmas Message)

Luke 2:8–14

[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. [10] 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. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. [12] And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” [13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

[14] “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (ESV)

WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF CHRISTMAS? IT IS “FEAR NOT!” (v. 10)

In those angelic words, “Fear Not!” the sum of the Christmas message may be found. Man, by his sin, has separated himself from the source of his life and protection (God), and is surrounded by fears without and is full of fears within. But God his Savior has drawn near in the person of Jesus Christ to deliver him from fear, especially the fear of death, by his life, death, and resurrection.

A) The human condition is one of fearfulness (Heb. 2:15; Gen. 3:8-11; Rom. 6:23).

Ever since man sinned in the Garden of Eden, as a result of which he became conscious of his nakedness and was cast out of the garden, he has been afraid. His life is full of threats to his happiness and existence. He has become a life-long slave to fear, especially the fear of death. Indeed, the wages of sin is death. No wonder he is afraid all the time.

B) The Gospel is the antidote to fear. Glad tidings of great joy! A Savior has been provided to us – Jesus Christ the Lord.

  1. Jesus is Savior (Matt. 1:21; Heb. 2:14, 15; Rom. 6:23). The name Jesus means, “He will save his people from their sins.” Though the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. He is the Savior who paid the penalty for our sins and who delivers us from fear, especially the fear of death.
  2. Jesus is Lord/God (Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14, 18; Jos. 1:9, Heb. 13:6; Rom. 8:31-18; Ps. 23:4). Jesus is also called “Emmanuel”, God with us. He is God: the Word who was in the beginning with God, is himself God, and was manifested in the flesh and dwelt among us. God’s gracious presence has always been the antidote to fear. If God be for us, who can be against us?

C) God’s goodwill is the basis of our peace (1 John 4:18; Exo. 33:18-19; Eph. 2:3, 4, 14, 16; Rom. 5:1). God is glorified by showing mercy, favor, and goodwill to his people. He delights in their welfare (that’s what “peace” means). His perfect love towards us in Christ is what drives away all our fears. When we put our faith in the Savior who cleanses us from all our sins, we then have peace with God. And when this happens, the angels rejoice, and God is glorified. In Christ we no longer need to be afraid. In him we have peace and joy forevermore!

CONCLUSION:

This message is supposed to be for everyone (see v. 10), but not everyone receives it (John 1:11). The angels’ appearing to lowly shepherds points to the fact that only the humble experience the joy of the Christmas message (Isa. 66:2; Matt. 5:3; 1 Cor. 1:26; Jas. 1:21; Mark 10:15). “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: