“Rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” … “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”Luke 10:20, 23, 24
The disciples had returned from their first ministry trip and were astonished at the miracles that they had seen. Even demons were subject to the delegated authority Jesus had given them (v 17). The disciples were rejoicing over the authority they had exercised but Jesus brought them back to reality. The greatest miracle ever performed, infinitely greater than authority over demons, is that by God’s grace a person is saved. Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of god, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Throughout history, even to this day, there are people clamouring for miracles of various kinds but few seek the miracle of the new birth. The incarnation of Jesus Christ foreshadows the incarnation of Jesus in the believer by the new birth and the Holy Spirit. Jesus reveals Himself to those of humble heart who seek Him and not just some physical miracle.
Jesus reminds His disciples that many who prophesied His future coming never saw Him. Kings desired to see Him but did not see Him. Perhaps Moses and Elijah were the exceptions (Matthew 17:3). Simeon (Luke 2:25f) and Anna (Luke 2:36f) also desired to see their Salvation (Luke 2:30, 38) and they saw Him.
We may not have seen Him in bodily form as Simeon and Anna had but we have seen Him through the eyes of faith witnessed to us in the Bible and confirmed by the Holy Spirit.
We should not be surprised that the first public announcement of His birth would be to shepherds. King David had been a shepherd and Jesus will sit on his throne forever. Also Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep (John 10:11; cf. Psalm 23).
This Christmas our rejoicing would best be focused on the wonderful fact that Jesus has opened our ears to hear Him and our eyes to see Him. Second only to Jesus’ incarnation this is the greatest miracle ever. Jesus came to save sinners. That He saved you and me is the greatest miracle. Let us pray that He will open other eyes of the spiritually blind and other ears of the spiritually deaf and perform the greatest miracle of all – the new birth (John 3:1-7).