From Failure to the Most Fortunate  

Luke 2:8-20

Jim Elliot, along with four of his missionary colleagues was killed on January 8, 1956 while trying to establish contact with an unreached tribe in Ecuador (now known as the Waodani people). Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Flemming and Roger Youderian had been working to make friendly contact with the this tribe which they had seen from the air. Though they had only met one tribesman face to face, they had participated in trades with the unreached tribe from a plane to ground system. When Elliot and his friends landed on a river beach on that January day they were slaughtered by the waiting men. Some in the missions community called their efforts a failure.

Their deaths were not in vain though. The widows continued to try and make peaceful contact and eventually won the hearts of the tribe. God has used this recent missionary martyr story to inspire new generations of missionaries willing to give their lives for what they believe. The once faithless people became the fortunate through a relationship with Jesus Christ!

I. The shepherds were viewed as failures, yet God saw them as fortunate. (Luke 2:8-10)
a. God believes that the message with the highest priority should be given to the lowest (vv.8-9) The nature of the shepherds’ work would not allow them to observe Israel’s ceremonial laws. They were considered unreliable and could not give testimony in the court of law. They were indeed looked upon as failures by society, especially by the religious leaders of the day.
b. God wanted to use the least likely to share the greatest message to all (v.10)


II. The foundation of the gospel. (Luke 2:11-14) The foundation is that we are sinful people that need a Savior. Not just any savior, but the one that was prophesied about and was long awaited for hundreds of years. Christ is our only hope.
a. The long awaited Savior has come. (v.11) The phrase a “Savior, who is Christ the Lord” is the only time in the Gospels this phrase is used. It’s the only time we see all these titles of Jesus brought together- Savior, Christ, Lord. The Savior has come to give life! Jesus is known by many names and deserves first priority and praise above all things!
b. The Savior is worthy of praise. (vv.13-14)


III. The fundamentals to sharing God’s fortune. (Luke 2:15-20)

If you have responded to the greatest news ever by placing faith in Jesus Christ, you my friend are the most fortunate! Why is this? You may not be fortunate from a worldly standpoint, but you are no longer living for this world!

The shepherds give us a great pattern to share the fortune of Christ with others, so that they too can be the most fortunate.

a. Teach (vv.17-18)
b. Treasure (v.19)
c. Tell (v.20