After my wife and I were married, we spent our honeymoon at a resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The resort was beautiful, we had a wonderful room, there were lots of activities available, and we had three delicious meals each day. And the best part is that all of that was included in the price we paid for the trip because it was an all-inclusive resort. According to the dictionary, all-inclusive is an adjective that means including everything or everyone. Nothing or no one is left out.
In the hills surrounding Bethlehem, over 2,000 years ago, an angel messenger suddenly appeared to a group of shepherds at night, scaring them out of their wits. As they stood there trembling in fear, the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have great news for you, good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Now, I’ve read the words of Luke 2:10 many times but as I read them again recently, what stood out to me was one word, “all.” The good news that brings great joy was not just for the shepherds. It was not just for kings and rulers or for the religious leaders of the time. It was not just for the nation of Israel. The good news that the angel was bringing was for everyone. It was for ALL people!
The good news that the angel brought that night was that a Savior had been born in Bethlehem, a Savior named Jesus Christ. The baby born in Bethlehem that night was bringing salvation from sin, and He was bringing it not just for some people, He was bringing it for all people. God’s message of salvation is all-inclusive, it’s for everyone. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, when Mary and Joseph brought the baby to the temple to be dedicated, an old man named Simeon met them there. He had been promised by God that he would live to see the Messiah, the Savior. And he knew that Jesus was that Savior. He took the baby in his arms and prophesied that Jesus was God’s promise of salvation, a salvation that God had prepared not just for some people, but for all people (Luke 2:30-31).
Long before Jesus was born, long before Simeon prophesied that Jesus would be the salvation of all people, the prophet Isaiah spoke of the heir to David’s throne, an heir who would be a banner of salvation to all the world (Isaiah 11:10). God’s promised Messiah, God’s promise of salvation would be available to all the world. God’s promise is all-inclusive; it’s for everyone. No matter whether we are Jew or Gentile, poor or rich, black or white, the salvation offered through Jesus Christ is for each and every one of us who chooses to believe in Him, to accept Him as Savior, and to follow Him. Today, just as it was 2,000 years ago, the message of Christmas, the message of salvation, is all-inclusive.