“I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” (Luke 2:10)
When the angels appeared to those frightened shepherds, they gave them a wonderful Christmas greeting. They announced that they were bringing good tidings of great joy to all people.
These good tidings were not just for Jewish people or for good people. They were to bring great joy to ALL people! That means all kinds of people – and all kinds of people everywhere!
Before He ascended, the last words of Jesus were: “… go be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere… to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NLT).
Some enjoy their faith as if the last words of Jesus were: “Now don’t let it get around!” They live out their faith as if the Gospel is a secret to be kept.
Never forget these two beautiful Christmas words, “All people!”
The spiritual community of those who believe and follow Jesus is not to be a secret organization. It is a community of people who exist for the benefit of their non-members.
Jesus Christ came to bring good news and great joy to people who are not good. The Bible tells us that all of us have gone astray and turned every one of us to his or her own way. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that God laid the penalty for all of our sins on His Son (Isaiah 53:6).
Two more great Christmas words are “mercy” and “grace.” The mercy of God withholds from us what we deserve and His grace lavishes on us all kinds of marvelous things we do not deserve. His mercy and grace give us more blessings than we can count if we have the faith to receive them.
Dick Woodward, 23 December 2011