Reveal Day 10 Strong Joy: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) Why did angels first tell shepherds and why did they care? (verse 8)

2) Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem, the city of David? (verse 11)

3) What is joy? (verse 10)

Luke 2:8-11

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock.  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.

Original Intent

1) Why did angels first tell shepherds and why did they care? (verse 8)
Shepherds were normal everyday average people except for the reality that they were second rate citizens. Many looked down on shepherds as being the lowest class in society. There was nothing special about them. They had no marketable skills, they made little to no money, were loners, and likely smelled pretty bad! Their only job was watching over a flock of sheep. Yet, these are the exact reasons why God chose them to receive His spectacular announcement! Jesus came for everyone, the lowly and humble shepherds as well as the rich rulers and religious leaders of the time. Choosing lowly shepherds as the first people to receive this exciting news was God’s way of saying “this Savior King that has been born is for everyone!” Additionally, and to answer the second part of our question, these men had the “awe” necessary to be humbled and amazed by what they saw and experienced. Think about what may have happened if the angels had announced Jesus’ birth to the religious leaders? It would have only puffed up their already over-inflated egos. Based on history, and what we know of the Pharisees, it’s fair to assume they would have withheld and/or twisted the announcement to be about themselves. Whereas, these shepherds knew this was much bigger than they alone were worthy of hearing and seeing! How could they not care deeply about this message?! All of Israel was waiting for the long-ago-promised King of Israel for hundreds of years. Not to mention, the sky was suddenly filled with angels and bright light reflecting God’s glory! It seems like anyone who had that experience would care enough to share it with uncontainable excitement!

2) Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem, the city of David? (verse 11)
2 Samuel 7:12-13 tells us a descendant of David would establish his kingdom forever. Bethlehem is where David, the shepherd boy turned king was from, so it makes sense that Jesus would be born in David’s hometown. The location of Jesus’ birth is yet another confirmation of the prophecy that the Messiah would come from David’s line. Joseph, Mary’s husband, was a descendant of David. Isaiah 9:7 also prophecies the Messiah would come from David. Micah 5:2-3 says of Bethlehem, “you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me.” This quote from says it perfectly, “God chooses something small, quiet, and out of the way, then does something there that changes the course of history and eternity.”

3) What is joy? (verse 10)
Imagine for a minute, you are living in Israel. You have grown up hearing amazing stories of all God has done; the very same God you and your family worship. You know all the claims made by prophets telling of One who will come and rule forever. In spite of all these things, suppose that what you know of life and have experienced thus far has you questioning the validity of these claims. Your people have also been conquered by outside nations, sold into slavery and introduced to foreign gods. The religious leaders teach you must be perfect to please God by keeping up with an exhausting, and impossible, list of standards to live within. I can only imagine it would be hard to remain hopeful and look with anticipation for this long-awaited King. Then, one night you are on a hill in the dark, doing the same ordinary job you’ve always done. Suddenly, without warning, the sky becomes as light as day; you see angels and hear heavenly singing. Once the shock and fear subside, and the news that this long-awaited King has finally been born and is near enough for you to go see for yourself sinks in, you begin to feel something new and unexpected. That feeling is joy!

Everyday Application

1) Why did angels first tell shepherds and why did they care? (verse 8)
Today we might ask, why me? I am nobody, just your average ordinary person trying to live a good life. Who am I that God would even acknowledge me? The same answer holds just as true today as it did when Jesus was born. He came for EVERYONE! Go back and re-read our Scripture passage, it says, “good news of great joy that will be for all the people”.  Matthew 7:8 tells us that everyone who seeks Him will find Him. John 3:15-16, familiar verses many know, again tells us that Jesus came to save everyone! This news should excite us today just as much as it did the shepherds. Sure, our lives look much different today, but we are like them in many ways. Many have grown up hearing Bible stories, reading Scripture, and even knowing more of the story than the shepherds did, since we have the benefit of knowing the Jesus part of history. But, we too are waiting for our long awaited and promised Savior to return! We must care about this news for the same reason the shepherds did. We need to share it with boundless excitement! Luke 2:16-18 tells us after the shepherds saw Jesus they told others what they had seen and heard. As followers of Jesus, telling others about Jesus is our duty and our delight!

2) Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem, the city of David? (verse 11)
God works in unexpected ways and in unexpected places. We don’t need to go to church, or a certain city to find Jesus. Finding Jesus is not flashy or big, but often small and quiet. It’s important for us to remember how Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem fulfilled so many prophecies, because it serves as a reminder that we worship a faithful God. If God says He will do something, He will. Which means Jesus is coming back one day! And it will more than likely not be where, when, or how we expect. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:2 tells us Jesus will come “like a thief in the night” to make the point that we have no idea when He will be back, but we DO know He’s coming. The better question for us today might be, “why not make Jesus known in my town or community?”. We can introduce Jesus to others wherever we are as we help everyone prepare for His very certain return!

3) What is joy? (verse 10)
Joy as defined by Merriam-Webster is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires, the expression or exhibition of such emotion, a source or cause of delight, warm fuzzies. Most of us can think of a time when we experienced these feelings in our spiritual journey, but recently I have been convicted of a need to find my “awe of God” regardless of feelings. We stand in church, sing, maybe even raise our hands, read our Bibles, and participate in study, but do we find deep, unshakeable joy in knowing our Savior and telling others about Him? Are we blown away and consumed with that sense of wonder and awe the shepherds had when we reflect on who God is and the absolute truth that He not only loves us, but wants us to know Him and have a deeply intimate relationship with us?! When was the last time you sat in awe of Jesus? God is showing me I need to stop trying to ascertain feelings, but rather slow down and just allow Him to consume me. When we rediscover awe towards God, we cannot help but experience soul joy. In the process, we gain new courage to tell everyone we know about Jesus.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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