And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. – Luke 2:10-14
The same Greek word showing the extreme fear of the shepherds when the angel appeared is used to show the extreme joy that followed.
What amazing thing happened to cause such a quick change in their minds? Was it that the angel changed form and the bright glory of God dimmed a little? Was it that they got over their initial shock and were now ready to defend themselves against this sudden intruder?
Or was it the simple, yet wonderful message the angel spoke? Could it have really have been the comfort of the simple gospel message?
I think so.
We see that there is no record of fear mentioned again, even when the sky was filled with angels just moments later.
How is it that such a simple and short message could be so comforting as to replace extreme fear with extreme joy?
Because it was the truth. It was the good news. It was the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we continue our study in this remarkable scene, we will find that the gospel, in its simple yet profound form, is the key to the greatest joy this side of glory!