Winter here on the plains brings short days and long nights. No street lamps are around to light up the roads, only hundreds of stars. It is quite amazing to gaze into the heavens on a calm and cloudless night. It is breathtaking to say the least. On these nights, the thought of how God chose to reveal His son overtakes me. Not only of the “how”, but the thought of whom He chose to reveal His son to first is quite incredible. These men were chosen by God to receive the royal announcement of the birth of His son first. Wow, what an honor!! Grab your Bible and let’s look at that announcement in Luke 2:8-14.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
These shepherds were not the likely candidates to receive firsthand a royal announcement such as this one. Shepherds were considered lowly. They were probably looked down upon. Well, take a look at their job description. They were to be in fields guarding sheep. Hygiene was probably not on the top of the agenda. Since they were in the fields day and night caring for sheep that could have been used for sacrifice at the temple, the upkeep of themselves were not priority. They also had to be strong and physically fit. These men often had to fight off predators to protect the sheep. Remember David in the Old Testament? Before he became king, he was a shepherd. He had no fear of the giant Philistine Goliath because he had fought off bears and other predators without any armor. Yet, it was a thankless job. With that being said, God sent His angel to tell these men about Christ. God chose the lowly first to tell about the King of Kings. That gives me chills.
Do you think that you are too lowly to receive a royal invitation from God? Think again. Maybe this is your invitation. These shepherds were not at that moment seeking Jesus, yet a way to Him was given. How did they respond? Let’s look at Luke 2:15-20.
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Did they accept the invitation? They did not stop and ponder if it was a dream. They knew without a doubt that this was God. They did as the Lord told them. They went to Bethlehem and sought Jesus out. Once they had the invitation they began seeking Christ. Did they keep it a secret? No. These men made sure that others knew about this Child. When we find Christ, we also can no longer keep it a secret; we must share the news.
What if you don’t think of yourself as lowly or humble? What if you are educated and seek knowledge? Did God forget about you? Absolutely not. In part two, we will look at how God revealed Christ to a group of educated astronomers and how they found Christ.
Action: Have you accepted the invitation that God has given you? The birth of Christ is celebrated because of the amazing gift we can receive due to His death on the cross. Jesus was born, died on the cross to pay for our sins, and defeated death by rising from the grave three days later. Because of this, we now can receive salvation and spend eternity in Heaven with God after our death.