Summary: This message looks at the birth of Jesus through the eyes of the shepherds, and we must not leave Jesus out of our lives.
The Shepherd’s message of Hope
Luke chapter 2:8-20
This message has some thoughts and illustrations from contributors of sermoncentral.
We have been in a series called Holding onto Christmas.
We can get so busy that we could miss Christmas if we are not careful.
Last week, we looked at the Christmas story through the eyes of the innkeeper.
This morning I want to look at the shepherds, and on Christmas Eve the wise men, Christmas day looking at Jesus as the most Precious Gift.
Luke chapter 2:8-20
Let me tell you about the shepherds!
They were the last people on earth that you would expect the God of the universe to tell and show the plan of God.
They were religious outcasts.
They were unclean and un-kept.
Somebody had to keep the sheep and they were the ones that drew the short stick.
They did not smell good.
They were uneducated.
One commentary said that they would be like modern day truck drivers who were not able to be in church often because of their job of long hours and being away from home so much.
Because they didn’t get to know many people because of their traveling, they were often looked upon with suspicion, like a carnival worker or a gypsy.
There job in a nut shell was to watch the sheep.
Do not let anything happen to them.
That was a hard job because sheep are not the sharpest tool in the shed.
They would follow each other into danger if they were not looked after.
Think about it, if your God,(don’t think to long on that)
Would you really want to announce the most terrific news imaginable, and use a group of social outcasts?
God has a plan.
The shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks, and the Lord shows up right where they are at.
They were terrified- But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
“Today (right now) in the town of David a savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.” And you will find him wrapped up in Bethlehem in a manger.”
I am sure there are many reasons for God to use shepherds, but one that I thought of was because who better can relate to those people that feel overlooked, counted out,, or one that felt they have no more chances in life.
Isaiah the prophet told God’s people that a savior of Israel would be a shepherd to God’s people.
Jesus called himself the good shepherd.
One that would lay down his life for the sheep.
One that would not run when the wolf comes to destroy.
Who better to understand that then shepherds.
God is no stranger to shepherds!
King David was a shepherd boy before he was anointed King of Israel.
Moses was called of God while shepherding the flock of his father-in law Jethro. (Moses experienced God’s presence in a burning bush)
You know that Christmas is going to mean different things to different people.
What does Christmas mean to a young mother that just lost her husband?
What does Christmas mean to a missionary in a foreign land and his whole family is far away?
What does Christmas mean to a kid who has been given everything and the only thing he/she knows about Christmas is the receiving of presents. (stuff they really don’t need.)
God came to those shepherds, and he desires to come to us today.
No matter where you are on the social ladder, God has a message for you today.
You feel forgotten?
You feel left out?
Maybe you’re here today, you say I don’t feel that way, I feel blessed! He says to us all, I’ve got a message for you today and the shepherd is bringing it.
Ever feel like the folks who decided to throw a party to honor very important guest. They sent out invitations, decorated the hall, and had the food catered. All the people came together at the designated time, but to their surprise, the guest of honor was not there. They made the embarrassing discovery that no one invited the guest of honor.
You cannot do Christmas without Jesus.
Christ is in Christmas for a reason.
You can X him out of Christmas, but I guarantee you will miss the meaning and blessing of Christmas when you do.
Here is a point I want you to write down-
You matter to God!
God knows you and He loves you ! (say that out loud this morning- I matter to God. Again.
No matter how insignificant you think of yourself- you are important to God.
The shepherds weren’t respected by the people, but God used them to bring each one of us a personal message this morning.