14 Dec. Luke 2:8-14

14 Dec. The shepherds are amazed to see the 'glory' of God.

"That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened."

"The angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Saviour was born in the town of David'."

"This is how you will know him: you will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box."

"Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:
'Give glory to God in heaven,
and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.'"

          (Luke 2:8-14)


 

In his account of the birth of Jesus, Luke tells us that an angel of the Lord appeared to a group of shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem, and “The glory of the Lord was shining around them” (Luke 2:9).

In the Old Testament, the 'glory' of the Lord (‘kabod’ in the Hebrew scriptures, ‘doxa’ in the ‘Septuagint’ – the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) signified the radiant, shining presence of God himself (also called the ‘Shekinah’).

The glory of the Lord appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai (see Exodus 24:16), and filled the tabernacle – the tent where the Ark of the Covenant was kept (see Exodus 40:34-35). And God’s glory filled the Temple in Jerusalem when the Ark of the Covenant was moved there (see 1 Kings 8:11).

But in Ezekiel’s prophetic vision, the glory and dazzling radiance of God’s holy presence (the ‘Shekinah’) left the Temple just before its destruction by King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC (see Ezekiel 10:18-19).

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, some 580 years later, the radiant, shining presence of God re-appeared on earth again. God’s personal presence was shown by the 'glory' of the Lord (Greek, ‘doxa’) appearing to the shepherds in the fields on the hillside outside Bethlehem.

Today, sheep are still reared on the steep hillsides known as the 'Shepherds’ Fields' outside the village of Beit Sahur near Bethlehem. The photo shows the Shepherds’ Fields at Beit Sahur near Bethlehem.

You can read more about Beit Sahur and the Shepherds' Fields @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/the-bible-journey/3-jesuss-childhood-journeys-b/shepherds-visit-the-infant/


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