Summary: God's Glory, Salvation, God's Favor, Peace
SEEKING A SAVIOR - Shepherds Seek a Lamb
December 2, 2018
Luke 2:8-20 (p. 716)
Routers reported that a 12 year old boy scout named Michael Aubrey from McGrady North Carolina went missing in the wilderness for 4 days…
He wandered away from his campsite because he was homesick and he planned on hitchhiking home.
Michael got lost and slept in tree branches, drank river water and prayed he wouldn’t get sick.
After 4 days a German Shepherd search dog named Gandolf came upon Michael’s scent…eventually tracking him about a mile and a half northeast of the campsite.
When they found Michael, Misha Marshall said, “He was a little disoriented and dehydrated, but he’s great.”
Michael’s first words on being found were…“I’m hungry…can I ride the helicopter out?”
Kent Aubrey, Michael’s dad said, “It’s a tremendous blessing to have him back safe…and we’re going to have that lecture about hitchhiking again.”
Lost sons need rescue…Wayward sheep need a shepherd who will search for them…even if it's a German shepherd named Gandolf.
Isaiah the prophet writes: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.” (Isaiah 53:6)
All!!! It’s universal. There has never been a person who has not taken their own path and gotten lost.
Adam and Eve stood at the foot of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and they chose to take their own path and eat from its forbidden fruit. The serpent had laid out a different path…“You can be like God.” And they stepped off the path.
King David stood on the roof of his palace gazing at a beautiful woman bathing. He sent someone to find out who she was…Uriah’s wife was the answer. He could have walked away…He could have taken a different path…but he stepped away from God’s way…committed adultery and then tried to cover an unwanted pregnancy with murder.
Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
It is no coincidence that God announces the birth of His son first to shepherds.
We all know the Christmas story…Mary, a virgin has become pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is engaged to a carpenter named Joseph…who when he finds out she’s pregnant seek a separation from Mary…but he’s a good man and wants to do it privately…but after an angelic visit in a dream he recommits to the marriage.
During this time, the Caesar of Rome issues an order…everyone should go to the town of their birth and register to pay taxes…Joseph is from Bethlehem…so he and his pregnant fiancé head there…a 90 mile journey…when they get there, there is no place to stay…and Mary goes into labor…she gives birth to Jesus in an animal shed…and his first crib is a manger.
And then we read…“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night.”
Sounds like a weird transition doesn’t it? From the humble birth of the Messiah to the pastures way outside town…it’s not if you consider God’s plan all along.
I. THE GOSPEL IS GOOD NEWS FOR ALL
Shepherds weren’t considered very high on the social scale…somewhat like the garbage men of society.
These men slept in the dirt and in caves near their sheep. They were actually unclean. They helped sheep give birth, and they buried the dead. They worked on the Sabbath as well as every other day…they could not follow the orthodox rules. Shepherds were viewed as a necessary part of society…but not one their fellow Jews wanted much to do with.
But God loves shepherds…Moses, David, Abraham, the most beautiful psalm we have is about a Shepherd and His sheep.
I believe God chose to reveal the “Good News” to shepherds first for two primary reasons…
One, God always seems to choose people no one else would choose!
Listen to 1 CORINTHIANS 1:27-29 (p. 793)
It’s never about how smart, good looking, charismatic, or popular the messenger is…It’s always about God and His message!
LUKE 2:9-11 (p. 716)
God’s angelic host invades the darkness of night in some pastures outside Bethlehem…His audience is some shepherds…and as anyone would be…they are terrified…
Can you imagine a more obscure place or more obscure people for God to publish the birth announcement for his Son?
And the second reason I believe God chose this setting and this people, shepherds, is
Two, “Because His Son was a Lamb destined for sacrifice.”
“I bring you good news the angel says. It will cause great joy for all the people. Today…in the city of David a Savior has been born to you…He is the Messiah…the Lord.”
The promise of a Savior…a Messiah, goes back to Adam and Eve…God tells the serpent…“He will crush your head…woman, he will bruise your heal.”