Have I Got News For You

Bible Book: Luke  2 : 8-11
Subject: Christmas; Birth of Jesus; Blessings in Christ; Good News

Have I Got News For You

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com

Luke 2:8-11: "Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

It was time for the children to perform the annual Christmas presentation at the little country church and this year Charlie was going to appear on the platform for the very first time in his young life. He had but one line, a sentence from the angel on the night of Christ’s birth. He was to say, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.” He had practiced his little sentence many times, but he was a little nervous on the night of the presentation. His mother tried to calm him with encouraging words. Finally, Charlie admitted that he didn’t know what his line in the drama meant. "What are ‘tidings?" he asked his mom.” She replied, “Tidings is just another word for news.” Soon Charlie was on the stage in front of the people, but instead of saying, “Behold I bring you good tidings, he stepped to the microphone and proclaimed loudly and boldly, “Have I got news for you!”

Well, actually Charlie had done quite well, for after all that is what the angel said that night long ago, “Behold, have I got good news for you!”

Christmas is now so commercialized and secularized that it can be difficult to get that good news out there among the voices, songs and marketing that has taken over this special season of the year. But don't think that it was much different on the night He was born. Christ was crowded out of the inn 2,000 years ago and He is often crowded out of our modern Christmas activities as well.

I read the story years ago of a young married couple who decided to hold a christening party on the night before their baby's baptism at church. When the guests arrived, the infant was laid on the guestroom bed. A few guests came into the room and not noticing the baby simply flung their coats upon the bed. Soon the infant had been completely covered by heavy coats. The next morning the newspaper told the tragic account of the baby that had been smothered to death at his own christening party. Is this what we have done? Have we covered the Baby with the worldly coat of secular and commercial trappings? Have we smothered the Baby in the midst of substitute embellishments of our own making? [Good News, July/Aug 1992. Page 26.]

Let’s get back this morning to the Good News, the Grand News, the Glorious News of the birth of King Jesus. Just what kind of news is this news? It was the announcement of a birth, a birth that involved a baby with at least three names.

The Associated Press carried a story from England about a couple who gave their newborn daughter 139 names. They said they'd call her Tracy but officially she'll be: Tracy Mariclaire Lisa Tammy Samantha Christine Alexandra...(you get the idea, for her name goes on for quite a long time). When the father was asked why they did this, he said, "We just wanted to give her something for when she grows up." The article, carried by a local paper was captioned, "What's in a Name? Don't Ask This Girl." Obviously her parents weren't thinking about the meaning of her names. Nor were they considering how difficult it would be for her to fill out forms asking for her full name! They just wanted to do something unusual.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who also had many names. But in our Lord's case, all His titles are very significant. In biblical times, a person's name had great meaning; it did more than provide the person with "a handle." It said something about the character of the person who bore it. That's especially important when we realize that Jesus is referred to in the Bible by many different titles, each reflecting something about His person and work. Today we are going to look at the three names given to Jesus within the angel's Good News announcement. The text reads: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

There you see the three titles. There are more than 100 names for Jesus in the Bible, but none more important than these three:

  • Savior
  • Christ
  • Lord

I. This is Good News concerning the Salvation of Jesus - Savior

You will note that the new born King is called Savior. The Greek word in this text is “soter,” which means, “deliverer.” Jesus came to deliver people from bondage – their bondage to sin. He came to deliver people from a sentence of death – death due to their sin (Romans 6:12). He would pay an incredible price to deliver us – to be our Savior!

A. He is the Personal Savior

I want to point out something about this Savior today - He is a personal Savior. He left heaven and came to earth to be “with us” – Emanuel!

We think of Kings as those enthroned and hidden from normal view. They send emissaries to bring messages or gifts to their subjects. But, when it came to our salvation, the King showed up in person. He did this because it was the only way and because He was filled with love and grace for us.

There is a story of pardon that comes out of the American Revolutionary War. Charles Spurgeon told this story about a pastor of a small Baptist Church in Pennsylvania. Near the church there lived a man who had been abusive and hateful to the pastor and his church members. The man who mistreated the Baptist pastor and church family was found to be guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Pastor Miller, of the little Baptist Church, set out on foot and traveled 60 miles to see George Washington. He was granted an audience with the General and he asked that the man be pardoned. Washington said that the “friend” of the pastor could not be pardoned. General Washington was shocked when the pastor said, “Friend? He is not my friend. I have not a worse enemy living than that man!”

Washington replied, “What? That man is your enemy? You walked 60 miles to plead mercy for an enemy? That, in my judgment, puts the matter in a different light and I will grant your request for his pardon.”

Once the pardon was written, Miller walked another 15 miles to the place where the execution was to be carried out. He arrived just as the man was being taken to the scaffold to be hanged. Seeing Miller as he mounted the scaffold, the criminal cried out, “There is old Peter Miller. He has walked all the way from Ephrata to have his revenge gratified today by seeing me hung." These words were scarcely spoken before Miller gave him his pardon and his life was spared.

Such love is seldom found among men. But, we see the love of the Savior for criminals like us when we see the Christ-child laid in the manger of Bethlehem. He came all the way from heaven to earth, wrapped Himself in human flesh, and did more than bring a pardon. He came to take our place on the scaffold of death in order to obtain our pardon. “What a Savior!”

B. He is the Powerful Savior

Babies are among the most helpless of all creatures. They cannot feed themselves, defend themselves or care for themselves in even the most basic ways. Yet, we see in this manger at Bethlehem a baby who is called, "Savior, Lord and Christ." He was King of Kings in the manger. He was the Lord of Glory lying on the hay. He is the powerful Savior who would die in our place, and be raised to life and overcome death, hell and the grave.

C. He is the People’s Savior

He came to save “his people” from their sins. His people include all those who place their faith in Him. It is not His will that any should perish but that all might come to repentance. If you perish without salvation, it will be because you rejected the Light that came into the darkness of your world. If you die in your sins, it will be because you refused the pardon that He offers you – the pardon He offers to whosoever will come in faith. If you die in your sins it can never be said that it was God's fault.

Some years ago my wife and I went to visit a woman who had shown an interest in becoming a Christian. We sat down with her in her living room and I presented the plan of salvation. She admitted that she was a sinner. She freely stated that she knew she would never go to heaven in her present state. Now, understand, this woman was sophisticated, well-to-do and lived in a beautiful, upscale home. But, she did not hesitate to admit her guilt before God. She also believed that there is a hell. She stated her faith that there is a place called heaven. I asked if she would accept the Lord Jesus Christ by turning from her sin and placing faith in Him. She then said, “What else do I have to do?” I told her that there would be much she would want to do in service for the King of Kings, but nothing more was necessary to be saved. She could not accept it. She said, “It is too easy. It is too simple. Surely I have to DO something!” Nothing I said could convince her that Jesus would save her through His own sacrifice. She kept pressing me to tell her what she had to do. I told her again and again that Jesus did it all for her and there was nothing she needed to do and nothing she could do in order to redeem herself. After a long discussion, we left her home without her trusting Christ. She wanted a salvation that a involved her actions and works. It was one of the saddest moments I ever experienced while witnessing to someone. Sure, I talked to some people who closed the door in my face. I talked to some who simply laughed at the idea of needing a Savior. But never had I talked to a person who believed everything regarding sin, the beauty of Christ, the reality of hell and the promise of heaven who simply could not accept the free gift of grace.

If we could be saved on our own, through our own deeds, there would have been no reason for Jesus to come to Bethlehem’s manger. He came to save the “people” who would trust Him for salvation. He is not just A Savior, He is THE Savior – The only Way - The only One.

II. This is Good News concerning the Sympathy of Jesus - Christ

He came as Christ - the Messiah. God had long promised that the Messiah would come and in that promise was the idea of lifting the burden from the backs of God's people. Just think of what that means.

A. He Came to be with us in our Trials

Jesus came into this world to become one of us. Though He never sinned, He did suffer the trials of human life. At times He grew tired. He thirsted, He was tempted, He was deserted by His own disciples, and He was attacked by His enemies. In the end He died on a Roman cross outside of Jerusalem in agony!

Jesus knows your sorrows. He knows your heartaches. In the manger, we see the sympathetic Jesus.

The songwriter penned:

"There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,

No, not one! No, not one!

None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,

No, not one! No, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles,

He will guide till the day is done;

There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,

No, not one! No, not one!" Written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. 1895

In Matthew 11:1-6 we read, “Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. 2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, ‘Are You the Coming one, or do we look for another?’ 4 Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.’” NKJV

Here we note that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, and that He came to bless the downtrodden. He made the deaf to hear, the blind to see and the lame to walk. We see Jesus in interacting with people in the midst of their trials. He is the “Friend Closer Than A Brother.”

So, there in the manger, Jesus had arrived to bless us in our trials - to be with us.

B. In our Temptations

One famous actor said, "I can overcome anything but temptation." That sounds like a lot of us. Let me remind you, as I have said already, that Jesus was tempted just as we are tempted. He felt the breath of Satan on His neck. So, Jesus knows how you feel and how difficult it can be to do the right thing. He came to help us in our daily walk, not just to meet us in worship on Sunday morning. He came to take you to the sweet bye and bye, but He also came to be with you in the nasty now and now!

Jesus has more than sympathy for you. Look at 1   Corinthians 10:13 where we read, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” NKJV

He came to be with us and to help us in our struggles with sin. The Christ-child in the manger says that God will not leave you alone in your battle with temptation and sin.

III. This is Good News concerning the Sovereignty of Jesus - The Lord

The angel called Him, “Christ, the Lord.” That title “Lord” is most significant our text today, for it speaks of His sovereignty. Note the three ways this title is momentous in the life and work of our Lord..

A. His Resurrection Title

In Romans 14:8-9 we read, “ "For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” NKJV

Did you note that the title LORD is used in veres 9? He is Lord over death. That baby born at Bethlehem was destined to die for our sins, but He was also the Lord who would be raised from the dead.

Christmas can be a time of depression, especially for those who think of loved ones that have passed on and are not here to celebrate with the family. However, when a Christian dies, He is with the Lord; and as long as we live on this earth, the Lord is with us. So, you see, since the Lord is with us and those who have died in the faith are with Him, we are really not that far apart. Christ is the risen Lord to comfort you and to assure you of eternal life.

Many years ago I read a story that spoke beautifully of Christ’s resurrection. I don’t remember where I read it, but I want to share it with you. One of the most important battles ever fought by Britain was led by Wellington against Napoleon at Waterloo. Back in England, people waited to hear the outcome of the conflict. The citizens of England knew that defeat in this battle would subject them to the rule of the Emperor. Anxiously they waited in London for ward from the battlefiend. The only means of communicating back then was through a series of lights that flashed from one hilltop to another, from one ship to another and then to the main cities. As a great crowd stood waiting in London, a person on top of a tall structure began to signal that word had arrived from the battlefield. The signal man began to spell out the message:

W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D…

At that point the pesky Longdom Fog settled over the tower and the people could not see the complete message. The fear and dread of defeat fell over the people. Some even cried out in anguish as they thought the Wellington had lost the battle against Napoleon. But, then a breeze blew over the toward and people could see that the signal man was still sending a message from the battle. As eyes were lifted again to the tower, they saw the words spelled out ...


A cry of victory went up from the people.

Listen, my friends, when our Lord died at Calvary it appeared that Satan had won the day. But when the fog cleared on Easter Sunday morning, the message was, “The Lord Jesus Christ Defeated The Enemny!” That is why that Baby was laid in Bethlehem’s manger. He came to be Lord over death!

B. His Returning Title

His title as “Lord” is not only spoken due to His victory in the resurrection, but it is clearly spoken regarding His RETURN. It is the Lord who is coming again. Let me share a poem I read the other day that is appropriate to the season and our thoughts today.

Twas The Night Before Jesus Came

'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house

Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.

Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care

In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,

Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.

And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap

Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter,

I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.

With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray

I knew in a moment this must be The Day!

The light of His face made me cover my head

It was Jesus! returning just like He had said.

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth

I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand

Was written the name of every saved man.

He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;

When He said "It's not here" my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love

He gathered to take to His Father above.

With those who were ready He rose without a sound

While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;

I had waited too long and this sealed my fate.

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;

Oh, if only I had been ready tonight. (copyright (c)1993 Bethany Farms, Carrollton, IL)

Yes, the Lord is coming back. The first time He came, He was laid in a manger. The next time He comes, He will arrive as Master. He came to bring us into His Kingdom, but He is coming again to take us to Heaven! We must accept Him now if we would be ready when He comes.

C. His Reigning Title

The word LORD occurs over 1,000 times in the Bible. In the Epistles the word Jesus occurs only 17 times, but the word LORD occurs 144 times. This is the chief designation of Christ after His resurrection. If He is not Lord over all, He is not Lord at all. Is He your Lord?

Just think, the term Savior is used 24 times in the New Testament and is used only of Jesus! Jesus was born as Lord and King. Do you know why? He was born as Lord and King because He was, He is and He ever will be Savior, Messiah, Lord and King.

He came down to where we are, so He could lift us up to where He is!

Yes, when Jesus came, He arrived the size of a baby. But, we must remember that the angel called Him, “Lord.”

Lord is the reigning title of Christ. He is Lord over all. In Philippians 2:5-11 we read, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a  bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NKJV

You will note in the text from Philippians that every tongue, every voice, will call Him LORD! He is Lord of all.

If you come to Him, you don’t come to a manger, you bow at a throne.

He loves, forgives, saves and keeps those who trust in Him.


Dr. J. A McDougall tells about a young woman who was dying from tuberculosis: "Every day her condition grew worse, yet she clung to life. Toward the end of February, she became nauseous. I was stumped. A senior medical consultant asked me if she could be pregnant. ‘To my astonishment it was true. A chest X-ray showed the growth of the TB cavity had stopped. The reason? Her diaphragm was pushing up against her diseased lung to make room for the child she bore.”” The Child Saved Her [Christian Reader, Sep/Oct 1993. Page 43.]

He came to save us from our sins. Do you know Him? If not, would you receive Him today as your Savior, your Christ, your Lord?