Guest / Limited Access /

About a quarter of the text in Luke 2, the account of Jesus Christ's birth, tells about how God sent his messengers to those who were the recipients of his promise—not kings, theologians, or even relatives, but those whom a grown-up Jesus would long to gather under his wings:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (NIV)

Following is a 700-year span of art attempting to show the surprise, the glory, and the joy of that night.

Click here to view the slideshow.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedNoah: Five Negative Features about this Film
Noah: Five Negative Features about this Film
Dr. Jerry Johnson, President of the NRB, shares some negatives of the new Bible film.
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickHeaven Is For Real
Heaven Is For Real
A toddler’s report that he has visited heaven is met with skepticism from everyone but his father.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.