Go and Tell
Bible Reading: Luke 2
While shepherds were “keeping watch over their flock by night” an angel brought a message of good news 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” (Luke 2:10-11). A multitude of the heavenly host then joined the angel in praising God (Luke 2:13-14). God was pleased to reveal glorious truths in glorious fashion to lowly shepherds.
The angel instructed them to go and witness, for themselves, the birth of the Savior. They traveled “with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger” (Luke 2:16). Those ordinary men, who had likely shepherded thousands of ordinary lambs, were privileged to behold THE “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). They saw Him for themselves.
The shepherds returned to their family and friends and shared what they had seen and heard: “They made known the saying that had been told them concerning the child” (Luke 2:17). The term translated “made known” means “to publish abroad, make known thoroughly.” The King James Version translates it “they made known abroad.” They literally told anybody and everybody who would listen.
They heard and saw and went and told. That’s the way it is supposed to work. Andrew found the Messiah and went and told his brother (John 1:40-41). The woman at the well heard Jesus speak, and went and told others about Him (John 4:28-30). The demoniac was delivered from his demons and went forth to declare “how much Jesus had done for him” (Mark 5:20). Peter and John witnessed the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. They could not stop speaking of what they had seen and heard, despite opposition and threats (Acts 4:20). You have heard and received the good news, God would have you to go and tell others.
When the war of 1812 came to a close a treaty was signed, ending the war on Christmas Eve, 1814. But the news traveled slowly by ship and was not delivered to New York City until a Saturday afternoon in February. No sooner had some men heard the news than they rushed in breathless haste into the city to repeat it to their friends, shouting as they ran through the streets, “Peace, Peace, Peace!” Everyone who heard the news repeated it. From house to house, from street to street, the news spread. Men bearing lighted torches ran to and fro shouting “Peace, Peace, and Peace!” Only one thought occupied the minds of citizens that night. In the days that followed, every person became a herald of the news and soon every man, woman, and child in the entire city was evangelized with the message. Those New Yorkers excitedly and readily shared a message of peace achieved that Christmas Eve, a peace that had reconciled two great nations. Good news is meant to be shared with a sense of urgency.
The message we have been given to share is of greater import. It is the absolute best of news. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). It is a glorious message of a glorious Savior who offers to sinners a glorious salvation. It is a “word of reconciliation” regarding the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ through which rebel sinners can be reconciled to God (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:19). Paul was burdened to share the message: “the love of Christ controls us,” he said (2 Corinthians 5:14).
As believers we are witnesses to something worth telling. Like those shepherds of old let publish abroad the news of Christ’s death for sins and resurrection from the dead. Good news is worth sharing! “I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.”
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
Go tell it on the mountain,
over the hills, and ev’rywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born.
While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
behold, throughout the heavens
there shone a holy light. [Refrain]
The shepherds feared and trembled
when lo, above the earth
rang out the angel chorus
that hailed our Savior’s birth. [Refrain]
Down in a lowly manger
the humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation
that blessed Christmas morn. [Refrain]