And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. Luke 2:9
First of all, the event described in this passage wasn’t merely one person telling another some good news. An angel came from heaven and announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds. No human being knew anything about it. Second, notice that Christ was born at midnight. This shows that the world was dark at his coming and human reason on its own can’t recognize Christ. Heaven must reveal it. Third, he bright light, which surrounded the shepherds, shows that something completely different from the light of reason is needed.
Luke says, “The glory of the Lord shone around them.” He calls the light that shone the glory of the Lord. Why? He does this to emphasize the mystery and show us the nature of the gospel. It is a heavenly light that teaches Christ alone.
This light from heaven shines around us through the apostles and their followers who now preach the gospel. The angel in this story is like all of the preachers of the gospel, and the shepherds are like all listeners. Accordingly, the gospel comes from heaven and doesn’t tolerate any other teaching added to it, for human teaching is earthly light and human glory. It lifts up human glory and praise and makes people arrogantly rely on their own efforts. But the gospel teaches everyone to trust in Christ. So rely completely on God’s grace and goodness. Glorify Christ and be bold in him.
Barnas Sears, D.D.
Controversial and visionary, Luther’s life is revealed in this rare presentation of his work as an educator and church leader. From his birth and childhood, to his religious education, and the events leading up to the Protestant Reformation, you will discover the views and experiences that led to his excommunication by the Pope in 1520. Correspondence and accounts shed further light on Luther’s defiant translation of the Bible from Latin to the language of the common man.
This unique biography is reproduced from an 1850 American Sunday School Union original, and in it you will be introduced to the pivotal life of this enigmatic man before, during, and after one of Christianity’s defining events.