What Child is This? The Sovereign Child

“This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing”
-What Child is This by Josh Groban

“Then the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.” –

Luke 1:30-33

The cry of a wee baby rang out in the barn as some sheep laid to rest for the night. What was this strange thing doing in their food trough? Though they didn’t understand, their hearts stirred with awe inside them as they inched closer to investigate this miraculous creature.

The rest of the sheep hadn’t come in so the barn was a bit more roomy. The shepherds were guiding them by the light of the stars in the fields outside of town. This night seemed strangely bright to them, so they thought they’d enjoy the fresh air since they could see if danger was approaching. The town was crowded with travelers from the census anyway. It almost felt like day as what seemed like more stars continued to gather. What could this be?

“Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:9-12

As the shepherds approached the baby, they couldn’t help but fall on their knees in worship. The very cry of this little child held great authority. The shepherds hearts were filled with amazement. This truly was the Messiah. They could feel it down to the very marrow of their bones. “The King has come to dwell among us,” they whispered to one another.

They shared with Mary, Joseph, and their family about the angel’s proclamation to them. “There was a whole host of them surrounding us giving glory to God! We were frozen in shock. We’ve never seen anything like it! So we rushed over here to find our King wrapped in swaddling clothes just as the angel announced to us. Glory to God indeed!”

The shepherds didn’t want to leave. They couldn’t help but continue to kneel and stare at this child. Why would God come to them as a baby? Why not come to earth as the great and glorious King that He is? Though they questioned these things, they knew it didn’t matter. Their Sovereign Lord had arrived and salvation was coming to them. They just didn’t understand how yet.

They wanted to stay in His presence forever. Maybe they could change professions and be His servants or bodyguards? No one else regarded their roles of shepherds as important anyway. They were the first to meet this great King. Why not continue seeing all His firsts? But reality set in and they knew they must return to the sheep before danger approached. They would give it the night, get the sheep into safety, and share the news with everyone they could the next day. Mary and the baby were tired and needed their rest anyway.

This is Jesus – the little baby that came through a miraculous virgin birth. This is the baby that shepherds came to worship and angels rejoiced at His awesome birth. This is the child that men traveled a great distance to lay profound and expensive gifts at His feet. He was worshipped from the time of His conception even until now.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the only King of kings and Lord of lords. He is God Almighty. He sits enthroned on high. He is the Great I Am. He alone is worthy of all worship.

“…the Lord sits enthroned, King forever.
The Lord gives his people strength;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

Psalm 29:10-11

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