Jesus Came for the Shepherds

REFLECTION: We live in a time where we have an even greater advantage than the shepherds – we know the whole story! With all of that in mind, in what ways can that change these last few days before Christmas for you?   What did you learn today by looking closer at the shepherds and their response?
Beyond Christmas, do you offer glory and praise to God in your everyday life for all that you have seen and heard? How can this part of the Christmas story transform your heart and...
change your purpose for all of your days?
Big Point: Jesus came for all people, including those who had no home.

How many of you were waiting for the new “Star Wars” movie to finally come out? Before the public release of an anticipated movie, there is usually a red-carpet, star-studded premiere. How many of you will get to attend the Hollywood premier for “Star Wars”? Unless you are one of the stars, the director or a mover-and-shaker associated with the movie, you’ll be out of luck. Sorry. Invitation only, for the privileged few.

When the biggest event in the history of mankind rocked this earth, who heard about it first? Kings and emperors? Nope. The powerful religious leaders of the day? Wrong again. God first revealed the birth of His Son — Jesus, the King of kings — to some of the lowliest people of the culture at that time: sheep herders.

Shepherds are always a part of any Christmas pageant. But who were they, really? In reality, shepherds were farm hands. They lived, ate and slept amongst smelly (although cute), waste-producing sheep. Shepherds lived outside, often sleeping in the grass or cave, if they were lucky. This means that they didn’t own much and personal hygiene was likely a challenge; of course, the sheep probably didn’t complain.

So why did God share the greatest story of human history with simple, nameless, seemingly insignificant sheep farmers?

God’s ways and wisdom are drastically different from ours. God often uses the unlikely, those perceived as weak even, when human thinking would have called on the strongest or most skilled. For example, who killed the enormous and powerful Goliath in the Old Testament story? Not the trained military warriors of the day. Nope. Instead, God used a young boy with a slingshot to take out an intimidating giant. Throughout Scripture, there are examples and illustrations of God’s ways, perhaps most especially at Jesus’ birth. God’s own Son, the King of kings, was not born into plush surroundings befitting royalty, but rather to a young couple who were staying near family.

Again, why did God tell lowly shepherds of His Son’s birth before anyone else? The great news of a Savior for mankind is for EVERY ONE OF US, not just the elite or rich and powerful!

So, what did the shepherds do with this news? Luke 2:20 says “they went back.” Where did they go back to? They went back to being shepherds. They went back to their home towns. They went back to their same families. They continued on in their same lives, but with one big difference: They had a new passion burning in them. They were glorifying and praising God. They had a new purpose and a new hope for themselves and their families.

Those simple, nameless shepherds were changed. Their hearts were altered, changed and transformed with the news they received from the angel and the personal experience they had with God. While the shepherds’ career paths, bank accounts and social standings remained unchanged, they were new people with a new purpose. They took their story back to the people in their lives, offering glory and praise to God for all they had seen and heard.   
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jan, this is s great lesson and analogy.
    Wishing you a special Christmas and many blessings in the new year!! Thank you for your friendship. co