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Friday, February 7, 2020

2020.02.07 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 2:15-20

Questions from the Scripture text: Where did the angels go (Luke 2:15)? What did the shepherds say to one another? Whom did they say had made it known to them? In what manner did they go (Luke 2:16)? Whom did they find? Where was the Baby lying? What was this lying place significant (cf. Luke 2:12)? What did they do when they had seen Him in His lying place (Luke 2:17, cf. Luke 2:11)? What response did they get (Luke 2:18)? What did Mary do (Luke 2:19)? What were the shepherds doing as they returned (Luke 2:20)? For what? According to what? 
It was granted to these shepherds to recognize the significance of God being a speaking God. At the end of Luke 2:15 they say, “which the Lord has made known to us.”

The sign that is given to confirm the identity of the Child is fulfilled. And, “when they had seen,” what is it that they make known? “The saying which was told them concerning this child” (Luke 2:17).

Others hear (Luke 2:18). All marvel at what was told. The shepherds praise for what they heard (and the sign they had seen that confirmed what the heard). As it was told them (Luke 2:20).

“As it was told them” (verse 20). There are many times that the Scripture says something along these lines—"just as some prophet (or angel, or the Lord) had said,” or “according to the word of such and such,” or “to fulfill what was written by so-and-so,” or many other such statements.

Scripture is insistent that we know our God as a speaking God. That we read—and especially hear—His intentions toward us. So that when His power and love to save sinners is fulfilled, we will also see His planning (that we might praise and ponder His purposes), and His communication (that we might praise and ponder His stooping down to interact with us), and the perfect reliability of His Word (that we might praise and ponder His truthfulness and faithfulness).

The Word of God is His means of communicating to us not merely information, but indeed Him Himself in His many and marvelous attributes. And so Christianity has always been and must always be a Word religion, and a mind religion, if there is ever to be any real relationship or transformation. As Psalm 138:2d says, God has exalted His Word above all His name—it is His favorite way to communicate Himself and particularly His steadfast love and faithfulness (Psalm 138:2c).

This steadfast love and faithfulness are translated into the Greek by that same pair of words as “grace and truth” in John 1:14. It is what we see when we see Jesus, to whom that verse refers as the Word who was made flesh. And how has God granted unto us to see Him? Through His Word!

So, when we come to read our Bibles, or have our dad or husband open the Word with us, or hear the Scriptures taught and preached in the congregation, we need to have the attitude of the shepherds. It is not just angels have said something. But the Lord is making something known to us through these words. And most of all, He is making Himself—His power and love and wisdom and mercy and faithfulness and all of His glorious attributes—known to us… and especially in His Son and salvation through Him.

These are the things to ponder up in our hearts like Mary and for which to glorify and praise God like the shepherds!
When you hear and read the Bible, how will you think about it and respond to it?
Suggested songs: ARP45A “My Heart Is Greatly Stirred” or TPH438 “I Love to Tell the Story”

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