Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them (shepherds), Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (KJV)
I have noticed in most, if not all, occassions when an angel shows up their first words are “Fear not.” STRANGE? They are bringing a message from God’s throne and it is “good tidings of great joy” not only to the original recipient of the news but “to all people.”
So, why the fear? I have a theory: The God glory the angels reflects is so holy and mankind is so not holy for all our God glory has “leaked out through our soul holes.” Is this reflection enough to convict us or is it we recognize our intended Garden of Eden state–clothed in light and God glory? When sin entered did we lose our clothes of light and become naked requiring our desperate attempt to cover our shame? Leaves sewn together did not quite do it and God intervened to offer the first sacrifice to clothe His wayward, most treasured creation with skin.
The good news brought that winter night (or whenever it was) was that the final sacrifice had arrived as promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Spotless, sinless, holy Lamb of God-a baby boy, Son of God. His blood would cleanse all people. This is the FEAR NOT we most long to hear–Fear not, this lamb is for you! He will again clothe you in the light of His boundless love, and we will once again be a pure and holy people–friends of God, walking together in unity and without any FEAR. Wrapped in God glory. Yes, this is indeed “good tidings of great joy!”
“Lowly” (meaning poor, uneducated, humble) shepherds heard it first because they cared for the lambs that were sacrificed daily in the Temple and soon, yes, very soon there would be no need for this any more!