God’s Message to the Shepherds (Part 1 of 2)

The shepherds needed the Savior, just as we do today!

December 25, 2020

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

Luke 2:10-11

A blessed Christmas to you and your family from Pacific Breezes! 

 

Part 1

Today:  A Message with the Best News!

“And the angel said unto them.”

Great News!

Luke tells us of the shepherds in the same area around Bethlehem who were out in the fields caring for their sheep overnight.  It was to these lowly shepherds that the angel made his most astonishing declaration ever!  With news this important, why didn’t he tell King Herod or any of the Roman or Sanhedrin[1] officials?  Come to think of it, He did not even go tell the High Priest or any of the priests who were on duty at the Temple that night.  God’s messenger did not speak to the rich or famous or influential, but to ordinary shepherds, the nation’s lower-class working men.

“As a class shepherds had a bad reputation . . . More regrettable was their habit of confusing ‘mine’ with ‘thine’ as they moved about the country.  They were considered unreliable and were not allowed to give testimony in the law courts”[2] (Morris).

Suppose this class of men was so “unreliable” and couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth.  Why did the angel deliver such valuable and glorious information to these men?

One possibility is that these men watched over the very sheep that would one day be offered and die sacrificially on the altar at the Temple in Jerusalem.  History reveals that sheep for Temple worship came from the fields around Bethlehem.  The distance to Jerusalem from here was only about 9 kilometers or 5 ½ miles.  This is plenty close enough to move the sheep there to sell for sacrifice.

The revelation about the Savior that the angel gave them that night will change their lives forever.  These men will become interested in God’s Lamb, Jesus!

Was it a mistake for the shepherds to receive so great a message?  What were the contents of the angelic statement?  Come back tomorrow, and let’s examine it more.

 

Quote:  “Loving God, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men”[3] (Robert Louis Stevenson).

 

 

 

[1] The Sanhedrin was the ruling body in Israel, they were the government/religious officials for the nation.  It was made up of 70 men from different parties, Sadducees, Pharisees, and Herodians.
This was the seat of power for Israel.
[2] Morris’ quote is from the Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.  Luke 2:9-14.
[3] Stevenson’s quote was Downloaded: Monday, December 21, 2020.  From: https://www.quotemaster.org/Shepherds.