“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.”
After they had heard the good news from the angels the first thing that the shepherds did was to go looking for Jesus – for the person of whom they had been told. Later on, when Jesus ministry had begun, there were others who did much the same thing. Whether because of a physical or spiritual need they went to the person Himself.
In His dealings with the religious leaders of the day Jesus criticised them for failing to do just this.
“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40)
As important as the Scriptures are, and they are extremely important to us, they are no substitute for God Himself, for the Word made flesh, for Jesus the real and living person. He is the one through whom everything was created; He is the one who died for us; He is the one who was resurrected and ascended into heaven to the right hand of the Father; and He is the one who will come again to fetch the believers and to judge all people, both those alive at the time and all who have died.
The Scriptures point us always to the Lord Himself, and they are always to be seen in relation to Him and not as an end in themselves. There is only one Way, one Truth and one Life and that is Jesus Himself. Through the Scriptures, through prayer and though obedience to His words we seek Him and Him only.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Christianity is at heart a relationship. As with all important relationships it needs to grow and deepen all the time.
Ask the Holy Spirit now and in the coming year to reveal more of the Lord Jesus to you as you read, prayer and live.
Lord Jesus, help me to continually seek and find more of You. Amen
Picture – Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerrit van Honthorst