But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;Luke 2:10(NASB)
"Fear not" were the first words that were spoken by the angel of the Lord, who came upon an insignificant group of shepherds, when they were abiding in the fields one night, keeping watch over a flock of sheep - close to the little town of Bethlehem.
Bethlehem was the city of David, through whom God had promised to send a Saviour, Who would shepherd His people Israel. The angel was a messenger, sent from the Lord, to tell His chosen nation the good news of great joy - for that very day in the city of David, a Saviour had been born.. "Who is Christ the Lord."
Indeed, this was good news that would benefit all people who would trust in the name of Jesus, the Word of truth - the beloved Son of the Father. He is the eternal Word made flesh. He is the only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father. He is Jesus Christ the righteous Lord, Who came in the image and likeness of the invisible God - full of grace and truth.
It was good news that would benefit Jew and Gentile alike - for the baby born that night was the Messiah of Israel and Saviour of the World - for Whom the people of Israel had been waiting many centuries. And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be for all people."
God chose to reveal this wonderful news to a little group of simple shepherds on a Judean hillside, who believed the prophecies of old and demonstrated steadfastness by faithfully tending this little flock of sheep.
Some think these were animals that were destined to be sacrificed during the approaching Passover feast, but these humble shepherds were ordained to be the first people to hear of the good news that Christ is born in Bethlehem. They were the first one who would worship the new-born King.
It must have been terrifying to have been visited by this angelic being, and to witness the sudden arrival of a great host of angels, who radiated the magnificence of God, and sang, "glory to God in the highest and peace on earth - to men of goodwill."
But their message was one of comfort and joy, which was not to be kept exclusively for the Jews. This good news was to be shared with the Gentiles - for everyone who would trust in the name of the only begotten Son of God would be saved by grace through faith in Him.
God is love and perfect love casts out fear, which is why this angel began His good news with the lovely words, "Fear Not." God knew that man would sin and bring upon himself, and his progeny, the wages of sin - which is death.
But from the foundation of the world, God had set in motion His perfect plans and precious purposes for the redemption of mankind, by sending His dearly beloved Son to be the propitiation for the sin of the whole world.
For by the first man - Adam, came sin, death, and eternal separation from God, but by the second Man, the Last Adam - Jesus Christ the righteous, came life and light, forgiveness, eternal peace on earth, and goodwill with God for men who believed - for as in Adam all DIE, so also ALL those that are positioned IN Christ, by faith, will be made alive.
One can hardly comprehend the enormity of that amazing message, which was given to those simple shepherds on the Judean hills near Bethlehem as they watched over their flocks by night, that glorious day when Christ was born.. and the angel came and said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people..."
Heavenly Father, thank You in Jesus' name for purposing to redeem mankind, by sending Him to be born in Bethlehem of Judea on that astonishing night, while shepherds watched their flocks. Thank You for the good news of great joy, which is for all people who trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. Thank You that You did not leave us dead in our sins, but purposed from the foundation of the world, to give Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God, Who would take away the sin of the world and become the good Shepherd of the sheep, for all who would trust in His holy name. Thank You that in Christ I have nothing to fear and everything for which to be thankful. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.