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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.

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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

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