Expository Sermon on Luke 2:8-20 | It’s a Boy (Shepherds See the Angels)

Pregnant woman ultrasound

It’s a Boy (Luke 2:8-20)

Births are a reason to celebrate.

God had to tell about the birth of his Son. Let’s look at this “birth announcement.”

Heavenly Announcement, vv 8-14

Shepherds were watching their flocks.

These shepherds were living out in the fields. Shepherds were a lowly people. They were considered untrustworthy. Their work made them ceremonially unclean.

The shepherds saw an angel. An angel came and stood before them. The glory of God shown around them—they were surrounded by the majesty of God. They were terrified. No wonder! They had never seen anything like this before.

The shepherds heard the angel.

The angel reassured the shepherds. The angel brought good news of great joy—the message the angel had was a cause for joy. This message of great joy was for all the people—for everyone.

The angel proclaimed the Messiah to the shepherds.

In the city of David, a Savior was born. Bethlehem was the city of David’s origin. The prophets had proclaimed the Messiah would come from Bethlehem.

A Savior was born. The name “Jesus” is the Greek form of “Joshua,” which means “YHWH is salvation.” Joseph was told to give his Son the name “Jesus,” because he would save his people from their sins (Matt 1:21). Jesus brought salvation into the world.

He was the Messiah. The Jews were waiting on the Messiah. They needed to wait no longer.

He was the Lord. “Lord” means “ruler.” Here, the Ruler of the universe had become flesh.

The angel gave a sign to the shepherds.

  • They would find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths. These cloths were customarily used. They kept the babe warm and protected.
  • They would find the babe in a manger. Probably this was a stone feed-trough. That’s the unusual thing.

The shepherds saw a host of angels. A choir of angels suddenly appears. This choir praises God. God deserved this praise.

A Marvelous Announcement, vv 15-20

The shepherds go to find the Babe. They look at each other and say, “Let’s get going.” They wanted to see what the Lord had made known to them—they knew God had spoken. They went with haste and found everything—they couldn’t wait.

The shepherds made known what they had seen. They told people what had been told them about the child. All who heard the shepherds were amazed.

The shepherd’s visit made the boys’ mother wonder. Mary, like all mothers, treasured these things in her heart-she kept the close to her. Mary pondered these words in her heart-she knew she had given birth to no ordinary child.

The shepherds praised God. They returned glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard. They did so because they found everything exactly as the angels said.


This is the world’s greatest birth announcement.

We, like the shepherds, should praise God for what he’s done.

This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.

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