Luke 2:8-15 (NKJV)
Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
Thoughts from Leslie
Many of us are familiar with these verses in the gospel of Luke. When we hear these verses taught, the focus is usually placed on the shepherds. Let's read these verses again and focus on what this day must be like for the angels.
We must not overlook the fact that an extremely large number, a multitude, of angels came down from Heaven on this day to join in the celebration:
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, goodwill toward men!”
**** The FIRST Christmas Carol sung by the angels themselves :)
It is important to remember that thousands of years earlier the heavenly host of angels witnessed first-hand Satan's rebellion and fall.
The angels no doubt saw and heard the evil that was directed at their God by the prideful angel Lucifer (Satan) as he and other fellow angels chose to turn from the Lord.
Isaiah 14:12-15 (NKJV)
The Fall of Lucifer
12 “How you are fallen from heaven O Lucifer,[a] son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
The remaining angels knew how ridiculous it was for Satan to even suggest that he would one day become more powerful than God. They realized that their Lord would eventually show Lucifer (Satan) just how ludicrous his rebellion was.
All of Heaven had been watching in anxious anticipation as the fallen Lucifer mocked God and continuously tried to lie and cheat his way to the top.
They witnessed him repeatedly torment God's children beginning very early on with the deception of Eve in the garden of Eden.
Satan did not stop with Eve, his goal was to cause distance between God and ALL of His children - which he did.
Once sin entered the hearts of Adam and Eve, sin was then a part of all humanity.
God is the opposite of sin. He not only disapproves of sin; He also judges it very harshly. The Old Testament is full of stories which demonstrate God's wrath against sin. Because all of humanity were sinners, they were all living under God's wrath. There was no permanent peace on earth for mankind.
If a person wanted even a momentary amount of God's peace in the Old Testament, they had to sacrifice animals to get it. They had to somehow cover their sin with innocent blood so that God could draw near to them even momentarily. This is so sad, but it would all change with Christ.
On this first Christmas day, hope was restored to all of God's children. Through the blood of Jesus later in His life, all of humanity would finally have the chance to experience PEACE from God!
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
It is important to notice that this reads, “Good will toward men” not “good will between men.”
This verse is actually referring to peace between man and God. It is through Jesus in the manger that all of humanity can have peace with God.
The New International Version of the Bible does a good job of making this verse clear. It says:
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests’” (Luke 2:13-14 - NKJV).
Connection to Us
The world around us is a hostile place, but through the gift of Jesus we can have unlimited PEACE in our hearts!
God is PEACE!
Thanks to God for offering us a Messiah, now we can forever be ONE with God's ultimate PEACE .
God can provide an unlimited supply of peace for each and every one of us.
Let's open our hearts today and accept This AMAZING gift!
PEACE....... What a WONDERFUL Christmas GIFT indeed!!
Here is a coloring page for you to print and color. As you color, focus on God's AMAZING love and PEACE. Ask your Heavenly Father to help you to understand the true importance and relevance of these verses. Ask him to fill you with a "heavenly- host" level of understanding and excitement. Thank him for the greatest gift of all-time, his son- Jesus Christ!