In this verse from the Gospel of Luke, we witness a remarkable event that occurred on the night of Jesus' birth. A group of shepherds were tending their flock when suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared before them. The scene that unfolded carries profound meaning and provides insights into the nature of God's glory, His divine intervention, and the response of humanity.
The verse begins by describing the presence of an angel of the Lord standing by the shepherds. The appearance of an angel in itself was an extraordinary occurrence, as angels were heavenly beings often associated with delivering divine messages or carrying out God's purposes. The fact that an angel of the Lord came specifically to the shepherds signifies the importance and significance of the message they were about to receive.
Moreover, the verse speaks of the glory of the Lord that shone around the shepherds. The term "glory" represents the radiant manifestation of God's presence, power, and majesty. It is a visible expression of His divine attributes. The sudden appearance of God's glory in the presence of the shepherds signifies a moment of divine revelation and encounter. It indicates that something significant was about to happen, and the presence of God Himself was near.
The response of the shepherds to this awe-inspiring sight is described as being terrified. The appearance of the angel and the radiant glory of the Lord evoked a deep sense of fear and reverence within them. It is a natural response when encountering the divine presence and power. The shepherds' fear reveals the overwhelming nature of the encounter and their recognition of their own unworthiness before the divine.
This verse carries profound significance for us today. It reminds us that God's glory is not something to be taken lightly. His presence and power evoke a sense of awe and reverence within us. It calls us to recognize and honor the majesty and holiness of God.
Furthermore, the appearance of the angel and the shining glory of the Lord to the shepherds signifies God's initiative to reach out to humanity. The shepherds were common people, often considered outcasts in society. Yet, God chose to reveal Himself to them, underscoring His love for all people, regardless of their social status or background. This event foreshadows the inclusive nature of God's redemptive plan, where the good news of Jesus' birth and salvation is meant for all.
Additionally, the shepherds' response of fear and awe serves as a reminder of our own human vulnerability and the need for humility in the presence of the divine. It highlights the stark contrast between the holiness and glory of God and our limited human understanding. It prompts us to approach God with reverence and respect, acknowledging His greatness and our dependence on Him.
Moreover, the shepherds' experience reflects the transformative power of encountering God's presence. Their encounter with the angel and the glory of the Lord was a life-altering event. It led them to respond by seeking out the newborn Jesus, witnessing the fulfillment of the angel's message, and sharing the good news with others. Their fear was transformed into joyful obedience and proclamation.
In summary, Luke 2:9 unveils a divine encounter between the shepherds and the angel of the Lord, accompanied by the radiant glory of God. The shepherds' fear and awe in the face of this supernatural manifestation invite us to reflect on our own reverence and humility before God's glory. It serves as a reminder of God's initiative to reach out to all people, regardless of their background, and calls us to respond with joyful obedience and proclamation of the good news. May we, like the shepherds, embrace the transformative power of encountering God's presence and share the joyous news of Jesus' birth with others.
Luke 2:9. The glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.