It seems that often the shepherds are overlooked. Maybe because they don’t seem as interesting as the wise men who followed the star. We picture the wise men in royal robes surrounded by mystery.
The shepherds were uneducated men of low status. They would certainly not stand out in a crowd. These ordinary shepherds bring to mind a lowly shepherd boy by the name of David. He was not special in appearance but God selected him to become King. But more importantly, the shepherds remind us that Jesus is the Great Shepherd who will be returning as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Please open your Bible to the familiar passage in the Gospel of Luke or read below in one of my favorite versions.
There were some shepherds living in the same part of the country, keeping guard throughout the night over their flocks in the open fields. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by their side, the splendour of the Lord blazed around them, and they were terror-stricken. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen, I bring you glorious news of great joy which is for all the people. This very day, in David’s town, a Saviour has been born for you. He is Christ, the Lord. Let this prove it to you: you will find a baby, wrapped up and lying in a manger.” And in a flash there appeared with the angel a vast host of the armies of Heaven, praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!”
– Luke 2:8-14 J.B. Phillips
As far as we know these shepherds were not looking for or expecting anything out of the ordinary on that night, as they were caring for their flocks. But, their lives were forever changed in a moment, when their eyes moved from watching sleeping sheep to seeing and hearing angels!
When the angels left them and went back into Heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Now let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this thing which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they came as fast as they could and they found Mary and Joseph—and the baby lying in the manger. And when they had seen this sight, they told everybody what had been said to them about the little child. And those who heard them were amazed at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured all these things and turned them over in her mind. The shepherds went back to work, glorifying and praising God for everything that they had heard and seen, which had happened just as they had been told. Luke 2:15-20 J.B. Phillips
As soon as the angels leave, the shepherds go without delay to find Jesus. We don’t know what they said or how they reacted when they saw newborn baby Jesus lying in a manger. I am certain that they knelt in silent worship.
Next, they begin telling everyone. Then they go back to work. This amazing beyond description experience has just been theirs but yet they have to return to the same old life. What is different is inside of them. They return to work but they are glorifying and praising God!
The Shepherd’s Way
- Glorify and praise God
Thinking about the response of the shepherds leads to some questions for us.
Are we eager to spend time with Jesus?
Are we telling others about Him?
Are we living praise-filled lives that bring glory to God?
Please click on the link below to watch a beautiful film