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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“When the angels left them and went back into Heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Now let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this thing which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they came as fast as they could and they found Mary and Joseph—and the baby lying in the manger. And when they had seen this sight, they told everybody what had been said to them about the little child. And those who heard them were amazed at what the shepherds said.”—Luke 2:15–20 (PHILLIPS, emphasis added)
According to a recent sociological experiment, good news travels faster than bad news. Dr. Jonah Berger, a world-renowned expert on word of mouth, viral marketing, and social influence summarized the findings of this extensive study by stating, "If I've just read this story that changes the way I understand the world and myself, I want to talk to others about what it means."
Isn’t that amazing and also somewhat surprising? Many people would have you believe that bad news travels way faster than good, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I suppose it’s like the old expression, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Think about it: Whether it’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten, an awesome movie you just saw, a compelling book you just couldn’t put down, a really great gift you received, landing your dream job, or a wonderful, life-changing announcement, when something amazing happens, the first thing we usually want to do is share it with others!
Today, everyone shares everything. From photos, gifs, videos, boomerangs, and tik-toks to stories, articles, inspirational quotes, and golden nuggets of wisdom, our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds are never lacking content. We share everything! But often, we’re hesitant and afraid to share Jesus!
Friends, let this sink in: Christmas is the celebration of the greatest news humanity has ever received—the birth of Jesus. And unlike the delicious burger you just ate or whatever other piece of exciting news you have that likely only impacts you or a small number of people, the coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is good news that impacts everyone! If you’ve witnessed the power of Christ change hearts and bring peace . . . why wouldn’t you want to share this amazing news with the same excitement and joy as you do a great photo on Instagram?!
It’s the kind of news we should be desperate and unashamedly excited to share with each and every person we encounter. There’s no news that should travel faster than the good news that God has made a way for us sinners to be restored to a right relationship with Him, redeemed of our sins, and received into His family as children.
In today’s passage, we see what the shepherds, who as we learned yesterday were the first to receive the incredible news that the Savior had been born, did after all they’d heard and seen. They didn’t keep the news to themselves. Instead, “they told everybody what had been said to them about the little child. And those who heard them were amazed . . .” (Luke 2:19 PHILLIPS).
As we celebrate Christmas, I pray we remember we’ve been called to share the message of salvation through Jesus with all those whom God has placed in our lives. Like the shepherds, we have an incredible message for the whole world, and we simply cannot keep it to ourselves.
You don’t need Bible college training to do this. Like the shepherds, and like the woman at the well (John 4) who immediately went into her town to tell people about Jesus, you just need to tell people the good news that Jesus loves them, died for them, and can change their lives and hearts in ways they never thought possible. You don’t need to know everything. You just need to be like the blind man in John 9:25 (NIV) who said, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" If you were once lost but now you’re found, if you were broken but now you’ve been made whole, if you were empty but now you have life, identity, belonging, and purpose, then you have a story to tell!
The gospel of Jesus has the power to change every heart on its own. All you need to do is be the messenger who delivers this good news.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.