When Jesus was born, it was nothing short of extraordinary. For one, he was conceived by a virgin girl. How does this happen? Furthermore, he was born in a stable and laid in a manger—a place that would have been dirty and filled with the stench of animal waste. To top it off, he was wrapped in swaddling cloths. That’s not exactly a fleece from Neiman Marcus. The whole story is an unbelievable reality that we should spend time rejoicing in. the reality of Christ’s birth.
Beyond the details of his birth, the way in which it was announced is stunning. It wasn’t a fancy postcard in the mail of Mary and Joseph and their baby positioned in Bethlehem for everyone to see. It was the greatest birth announcement in the history of mankind. In fact, it was more than a birth announcement—it was the announcement of hope.
The angel appeared in to a group of unlikely people, the shepherds who were in the fields keeping watch over their flocks. Shepherds were considered to be unclean and on the low end of the Jewish social class ranks. That’s just like God to announce the birth of the King of all kings to a group of shepherds.
The angel announced the birth of Jesus by saying:
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. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger (Luke 2:10–12).
Savior: Jesus’ Saving Name
The angel referred to Jesus as Savior. Closely related to Jesus or Joshua from the OT—Jesus means, Jehovah Saves. This is only one of 3 times where Jesus is referred to as Savior. Therefore – this is a significant title for it shows His mission in coming to earth. In fact, this title of Savior falls in line with the prophecy of the prophet said in Isaiah 9:6 and what the angel said to Joseph in Matthew 1:21.
Notice that the angel didn’t come to announce:
- Mohammad is a savior
- Buddha is a savior
- Joseph Smith is a savior
- Charles Taze Russell is a savior
- Mary Baker Eddy is a savior
- Confucius is a savior
- Ron Hubbard is a savior
Only Jesus can save sinners and this truth is abundantly clear in John 14:6 and Luke 19:10.
Christ: Jesus’ Special Name
Jesus is also called the Christ by the angel. Christ is not Jesus’ last name (surname). Christ is a title that means “anointed One of God.” All throughout the Jewish history, when the families would gather in their homes to celebrate Passover and the Day of Atonement—they would talk about how God saved his people from Egypt and how one day the Messiah would come.
Finally, the darkness was broken and the silence came to an end when Jesus was born. The long awaited Messiah had been born—although in an unlikely place (for animals). The promised Deliverer had come and this is certainly good news as the angel stated—not just for the Jew, but for all peoples.
Lord: Jesus’ Sovereign Name
The angel also pointed out that Jesus is Lord. This is points to his sovereignty. The fact that Jesus is Lord means he is Master—and points to his Kingly attributes. This was no ordinary baby in the manger—it was the Lord himself. Think of the fact that Isaiah’s enthroned Lord of hosts in Isaiah 6 was also the promised baby of Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6. That very One who was high and lifted up on his majestic throne nine months earlier was now clothed in human flesh in a stable for animals—and the angels were standing in awe!
When Jesus was born, the angel announced that he is Lord, which is to say he is:
- The Prophet greater than Moses
- The King greater than David
- The Priest greater than Melchizedek
Often when you walk into a Christian bookstore, you will find more pictures of angels and figurines of angelic beings than you will find books of theology about the deity of Jesus. That should shock us when we consider that the angels in the night sky on that evening when Christ was born were not announcing the greatness and splendor of the angels—they were amazed and announcing the greatness of their Lord.
As the angel made the announcement, soon a multitude of angels appeared and celebrated the birth of Jesus by saying: