Summary: God wants to take all the Herod's and turn them into shepherds and wise men. • But it can only happen if they are willing for it to happen.
We have spent some time during this holiday season talking about how God
• Choose Shepherds to be the recipients of the announcement about His Son being born.
• And when we think about this from a worldly point of view it sounds ridiculous.
• Why would God choose to make this announcement to the lowest of the low?
• Why wouldn’t He choose to tell the important people, the Religious leaders, the media, somebody, anybody, other than Shepherds.
• And yet, this is the way that God’s choose to announce Jesus birth.
• And what we need to understand is that God’s ways are certainly not our ways.
A. (READ Luke 2:8-15)
Somehow, when we hear about shepherds coming to the manger and seeing the Christ-child it makes us feel warm inside.
• Because If shepherds are important to God, then we are important, too.
• God loves the common people, and God loves us!
B. Now let’s look at another very familiar passage in Matthew 2, beginning with
vs. 1. (READ Matt 2:1-12)
What we see here is that the story of the wise men is also a story of love / worship / adoration.
• They represent the important people of the time
• The rich, the educated, the learned.
• We see that these people are valuable to God as well.
• Whenever we think of the shepherds & the wise men,
• It promotes feelings of love & joy & worship.
C. But at the same time when we think of King Herod we see darkness & hatred & death.
• In verse 16 we read this terrible statement,
• "When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, / he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity, who were two years old & under."
Why do you think it is that some people react like Herod did?
• While others react like the shepherds and the wise men?
• Some people are filled with love and happiness,
• While others are filled with darkness and despair?
Now tonight I think we can learn something about this
• As we look again at what these Scriptures tell us about the shepherds, the wise men, and Herod.
• Maybe through it all Christmas will mean even more to us.
I. FIRST WE CAN SEE THAT GOD CAN WORK WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE PREPARED TO RECEIVE HIS MESSAGE
• I think that one of the reasons that God chose to make this announcement to the shepherds and the wise men
• Was because they were prepared, / they were ready. \
• The soil of their souls, / hearts had been plowed It was ready for the good news.
A. I mean Who better to understood the idea of sacrifice than shepherds?
• Do you realize how close Bethlehem is to Jerusalem?
• They are just a few miles apart, separated only by some hills,
• And it's on those hills that the shepherds raised their sheep.
ILL. History tells us that many of the sheep raised on those hills between Jerusalem & Bethlehem
• Were raised with the sole purpose of being used as sacrifices in the Temple at Jerusalem.
• You see, once a year every Jewish family was supposed to come to Jerusalem