Summary: God’s birth was revealed to the shepherds, average people like us.
A Visit to Bethlehem Series
Four Ways to See Jesus Through a Shepherd’s Eyes
Dec. 2, 2007 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
B Bethlehem, shepherds, manger...all little things, but God used them.
1 Of all the characters in the nativity, we can probably most relate with the shepherds (average Joes).
a Outcasts, unclean (Jewish laws/rules about what, how you could eat, cook things, washing hands 3x’s a day).
b Shepherds ate what they could get their hands on, their hands were always dirty.
2 Raised sheep (food/clothing) that served as pashal & atonement lambs.
a Pashal/Passover: celebrate deliverance from Egyptian bondage
b Atonement: cleanse/cover sin annually (killed your own sheep!)
3 Shepherds raised sheep for the temple, but weren’t allowed in themselves (animals were good enough, they weren’t).
a Average Joes never get the breaks, these guys did
C Let’s look at how we can visit Bethlehem & see Jesus as these shepherds did.
I The Word is heard But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people Luke 2:10 (NASB)
A The angel brought "good news" (the Gospel) of "great joy" to the shepherds...but the "good news" wasn’t just for them.
1 The "good news" was not when or where the Savior was born, but rather that the Savior is born.
a Christ (Christos): the anointed, the Lord (kurios), Master, owner, Sir is here.
b Scripture does not tell us what date Jesus was born or crucified.
aa He was born ...for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NASB)
bb He was crucified When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. Luke 23:33 (NASB)
2 The angels told the shepherds the would find the Messiah in Bethlehem.
a "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:12 (NASB)
b These words were a promise! When God’s word says something, it’s always a promise.
3 The kings, rulers, philosophy, religion couldn’t meet the needs of man’s heart.
a Taxes/unemployment were high, morals were slipping, then...
b God sent His Son, His name was Jesus! He brought peace with Him!
B You must hear the word of God before anything else.
1 He’ll speak, give you a word of revelation, illumination...but you must listen.
2 Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart for His words.
a Confession of sin, clean hands, pure heart, etc.
b Be where His Word is spoken, taught, preached...and practiced.
The practicing of His Word leads us to the second way we can see Jesus through the shepherd’s eyes (transitional sentence).
II Act on the Word When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." Luke 2:15 (NASB)
A The shepherds had to go see this Savior, be in His presence, experience this peace the angel talked about.
1 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. Luke 2:16 (NASB) They went "straight" & in "haste".
a "Haste" is an aorist participle which implies that when the angels left the shepherds went to Bethlehem right then.
b It doesn’t say they got other shepherds to tend, watch their flock.
aa They could have (maybe), but I believe at that moment the most important thing was doing what they were told.
bb See God keep a promise.
2 That required them to act on faith & go to where God led them.
a If they waited until morning, they missed it.
b If they left, God would watch their sheep
c Why not?
B When God gives you clear word, act on it.
1 God’s word is clear, not confusing-rather, it brings clarity
a Bethlehem, baby, swaddling clothes, manger...go!
aa If you think God is telling you to leave your husband/ wife because they’re unaffectionate, go back to His word.
bb If you think it’s all right to sleep with your girl/ boyfriend because you’re in love & plan to get married, go back to His word.
cc If you’re withholding forgiveness because someone’s mean to you, or refuse to fellowship with someone who doesn’t agree with you, go back to the word.
2 The only part of the word you believe is the part that you do.
God will do something in your life when you do His word. When He does...you need to tell somebody (transitional sentence).