Good News; the Great Joy of Jesus’ Birth

Good News; the Great Joy of Jesus’ Birth

Luke’s gospel opens with an extended narrative announcing Jesus’ birth and its significance. His description includes the familiar scene of angels praising God for the privilege of delivering “good news of great joy,” the birth announcement “of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:9-14). While many people today know that story because of its connection to the Christmas season, Luke presents it as the triumphant conclusion to the Hebrew Bible’s focus on God’s promise to bless the world through Abraham and his descendants (cf. Genesis 12:1-3). 

The length and complexity of the Bible’s story sometimes result in the separation of Jesus from the Hebrew Bible’s story, resulting in the unintentional refashioning of Jesus to fit our contemporary, western sensibilities rather than the ancient, eastern Jewish setting within which he was born. Yet Jesus insisted that the Hebrew Bible provided the necessary background for understanding his identity and ministry (cf. Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:13-48; John 5:39-40). So, to help us appreciate the “good news of great joy” associated with Jesus’ birth, we will briefly survey three themes from the Hebrew Bible that find their fulfillment in Jesus and consider their meaning for our lives.