“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
Listen: Luke 2
The angel bursts upon the shepherds. He smashes into their silence with a bold proclamation of good news for all people about a savior who would bring peace. The shepherds were familiar with these words. They had probably heard a herald say those things about Caesar or seen them etched into a relief somewhere. But the message of the angel was something completely different. It wasn’t delivered to the rich or the elite, but to shepherds on a hillside.
Caesar’s exploits were proclaimed as good news (gospel). A victory in a battle would be shared around the empire as “good news.” Jesus’ gospel has to do with the hope he offers all mankind. Caesar was savior because he brought the Roman Empire to the world, “saving” people from self-rule or their previous oppressors. Jesus is the Savior because he offers salvation from the consequences of sin to those who will accept it. Caesar offered the peace of Roman rule to the world. Jesus offers the peace of joining his family and being restored to what we were created for.
Gospel, savior and peace are words infused with new meaning with the birth of Jesus. Luke sets up the contrast between Jesus and Caesar. As we read the rest of Luke’s account of Jesus’ life, it is evident Jesus is truly what Caesar claimed to be. He brings the gospel (good news). He’s the Savior and he brings peace.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Meditate on those three ideas: Gospel, Savior and Peace. With your hands stretched out and open, ask God to open your heart to see what he has for you as you consider Jesus’ Kingdom.
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