Written by: Tim Wood
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! (Luke 2:8-14 ESV)
Have you ever wondered why God chose the shepherds to first announce the good news of Jesus Christ? Why didn’t God go to the priests? Why didn’t he go to the power people? No one really knows for sure but I want to offer four possibilities.
1) I believe God went to the shepherds first because God usually does what we don’t expect. So, He comes to shepherds not statesmen. His ways are way different than my ways. His thoughts are way above my thoughts.
2) I believe God went to the shepherds first because Jesus is a descendant of a Shepherd King. Luke 2:4 tells us that David went to Bethlehem because he was from the house and lineage of King David – a shepherd who became a king. What a beautiful way of honoring the lineage of Jesus.
3) I believe God went to the shepherds first because God never overlooks the humble or the marginalized. Shepherds were not the culturati of the day. They were lower class not elite class. They slept in fields not palaces. Isaiah prophesied that Messiah would preach the good news to the poor (Isaiah 61:1). That night, there was not a more noble job than shepherding because they were the first to hear the good news.
4) I believe God went to the shepherds first because a Lamb was born that night. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. A Passover Lamb whose shed blood sets us free. Worthy is the Lamb! Shepherds were the perfect audience to announce the Lamb of God has come.
The shepherds were privileged to see the glory of the Lord shining around them. The shepherds were blessed to hear an angelic choir giving glory to God. Everyone else gets a shepherd announcing the good news. There’s a lesson, right? Don’t close your ears to the good news because a shepherd brings it. Not everyone gets the bright lights, but everyone can hear the good news. Are your ears open? Sometimes a child brings good news from God. Sometimes it’s the person we would least expect. Don’t wait for the dazzling lights. Don’t wait for a divine vision. Open your ears to God’s good message, even if a shepherd brings it.
Glory to God in the highest!