What the Shepherds Show Us – Part 2 of 4: Reorder Our Affairs (Luke 2:15-20)

Real Talk with Roderick Barnes
What the Shepherds Show Us – Part 2 of 4: Reorder Our Affairs (Luke 2:15-20)

What do you do when God reveals the truth to you? Before you answer that question, consider what the Bible says about how some people responded to the revelation that the Truth had come into the world (Matthew 2:1-2; John 14:6).

Study the Word

Study the Word

Upon hearing that the King of the Jews had been born, an evil and insecure ruler responded with a ruthless campaign to destroy the Son of God (Matthew 2:16-18). King Herod, for all his great building projects and adoption of Jewish culture, was not the true king of the Jews. And he knew it. The last thing he wanted was for the real King to come and take his rightful place in the lives of the people. In Herod’s vain effort to stay on a throne that did not belong to him lashed out against the truth. He tried to destroy the truth. In doing so Herod showed us a type of response to the revealing of truth: reject it.

The shepherds had an entirely different response. An angel told them that the Christ had been born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-11). The angel also gave the shepherds details that would help to identify the Child. What do they do with this truth? They hurry to see what has been reported to them (Luke 2:15-16). They make use of the details (swaddling cloths, manger, City of David) to find the newborn king. Although they were not commanded to go and see the Child, they rightly understood the reason for the revelation: God wanted them to come and see His Son. The revelation was actually an invitation – “Come to Jesus!” The shepherds show us another type of response to the revealing of truth: receive it and reorder your affairs around it.

Do you see the right response? The shepherds received the truth. In their discussion among themselves the announcement from the angel was counted as fact. From their perspective it had “come to pass.” They also reordered their affairs around it; they went with haste to see the child:

(Luke 2:15-16, NKJV) 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.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

God reveals the truth with the expectation that we will reorder our affairs around it. How have you responded to the good news about Jesus? He has not just come into the world but has also dealt with our sins through His death on the cross. (The proof was in His rise from the dead on the third day.) This information is made available to you, as it was to the shepherds, as an invitation to come to Jesus.

In His grip by His grace,
Roderick Barnes



Real Talk with Roderick – On the Ground

Real Talk with Roderick Barnes
On the Ground (Luke 2:8-14)

Yuletide art often displays the angel of this passage in the air above the shepherds. However, “the stood before” them of Luke 2:9 does not indicate that the heavenly messenger had an elevation greater than that of the shepherds. Absent from the text is any mention of wings, hovering (See 1 Chronicles 21:15-16), or clouds. I do not believe that the author’s command of Greek and attention to detail leave this open to interpretation. When Luke has meant “stood over” he has clearly conveyed that idea. E.g., later in the same work (Luke 4:39) Luke uses the same verb and a preposition to communicate that the Lord “stood over” Peter’s sick mother-in-law. Also, in the material that concludes Luke’s gospel more angels appear (Luke 24:4); the same verb that was translated “stood before them” in Luke 2:9 is used in the same way but in the plural. These angels, appearing at the end of Luke’s gospel to activate immediate obedience in the disciples, are on the ground with the men to whom they are speaking.

Luke 2:8-9, Angel Appears to Shepherds

In general when angels appear for judgement they do not make themselves available for conversation; they are not present to communicate but to condemn. In passages where angels appear in the air they are not merely aloft – they are positioned against the enemies of God (Revelation 7:1-2; 8:5,13, 14:1-19). Notable exceptions are found in the passage where an angel of God calls to Hagar out of heaven and later to Abraham (Genesis 21:17; 22:11). In these exceptions it does not say that the angel appeared but called out. But you will say, “What about Balaam’s donkey?” (Numbers 22:22-33) And to this I will say that the Angel does not appear to Balaam. It was the donkey that saw the Angel standing against the wayward prophet.

When heaven’s ministering spirits show up on the ground or in a dream they are present to help men (Genesis 31:11; 32:1; Exodus 3:2; Judges 13:3; Matthew 1:20; 2:13; 2:19; 28:5; Luke 1:11-13; 1:28-30; 2:9; John 20:12; Acts 5:19; 7:30, 35; 10:3; 11:13; 12:7; 27:23).

The good will of God toward men is indicated not only in the tidings of the angel but in the position of the messenger; he is on the ground with the persons being addressed. Does it matter? Insofar as we continue depicting the messengers as aloft we create the imagery of them also being aloof. The angels that appear to men are with those they are helping, among those they are aiding, and not above those being saved. When we consider the work of God in saving us, the Son of God comes to be with us – on the ground. Yes, Emmanuel will eventually even wash the feet of those He came to save (John 13:1-17).

In His grip by His grace,
Roderick L. Barnes, Sr.



What the Shepherds Show Us – Part 1 of 4 (Luke 2:15-20)

Real Talk with Roderick Barnes
What the Shepherds Show Us – Part 1 of 4 (Luke 2:15-20)

The physician and historian Luke tells us that heaven revealed the arrival of its Prince to a few people. To royalty and religious folk? No! To rugged outdoorsmen held in low regard by polite society: shepherds. Luke relates (1) how the advent of the Son was announced to sheep keepers and (2) the good tidings of the angelic message and chorus (Luke 2:7-14). And then Luke tells his reader what the shepherds did with their news. In the actions and attitudes of those first told is powerful teaching for us today. Let me share with you what the shepherds show us. You will find it helpful. I promise.

In His grip by His grace,
Roderick Barnes



Samaritan’s Purse with Three Rivers’ Youth

On 4 November 2018 our youth participated in a worldwide effort to bless children in poor countries. Boxes were gathered, filled with way-too-cool stuff, and then delivered to a distribution center (of sorts). In the gallery below one of the pictures features Jeff Loyd standing with the boxes that were delivered.
 

car_loaded_with_boxes_001

Picture 1 of 3

 
If you have problems with the quality of this post blame Bob.
 
In His grip,
Smug Destini


Welcome to the Three Rivers Web Site!

Our prayer is that you will enjoy the great life that comes with knowing Jesus. Three Rivers Community Church is here to promote  a life of walking with the Lord, of loving one another, and to effectively support the surrounding communities. We are more than a Sunday morning gathering! We aim in earnest to be a relevant blessing to Martindale, to be catalysts for needed change,  to study the Word and practice what we learn, and to grow spiritually together.
 
If you already have a church home may your visit with us help you serve there well. If you don’t… prayerfully come and check us out. We hope to see you soon.
 
In His grip by His grace,

Roderick L. Barnes, Sr.

Roderick and son.

Roderick and son.