Summary: It seems strange that God would first tell of the birth of his son to a group of shepherds. Yet, He did and there are lessons that we can glean from his declaration to them.
1. Chemistry Professor and Chauffeur
A chauffeur had driven the chemistry professor to dozens of speaking engagements. He’d heard the same canned speech scores of times. He said on the way to another engagement, "Professor, I believe I could give your speech myself; I’ve heard it so often." The professor said, "I’ll bet you $50 you can’t." "You’re on," said the chauffeur.
He stopped the car and the two exchanged attire. They came to the banquet. the chauffeur dressed in a tuxedo, sat at the head of the table and was introduced. He stood up and gave the speech verbatim. There was a standing ovation when he was finished.
The emcee got up and said, "You know, we are so fortunate to have such a fine resource with us tonight, and since we have a little extra time, let’s have some questions and answers. The first question was asked and the chauffeur stood there dumbfounded, clearing his throat in nervousness. Finally he said, "That’s just about the dumbest question I ever heard. In fact it is so dumb I bet even my chauffeur could answer that question."
2. CS Lewis: “We don’t need to be told new ideas as much as we need to be reminded of old truths.”
3. I always have mixed feelings about Christmas sermons
a. The date is not mentioned in the bible – I wonder if it is similar to the grave of Moses??
b. The Christianizing of pagan mythology – the rebirth of Mytherus on 12.25 each year
c. Yet it IS significant and people are thinking of his birth this time of year
4. Luke 2.8-20 – The Shepherds receive the news of the birth of Yeshua (Jesus)
a. Shepherds were considered “low life” – little income; unskilled labor; unclean
b. Yet, it was to shepherds that the good news of the birth of Yeshua (Jesus) came
c. The shepherds worked in the area of Bethlehem
1) City of David (lineage/taxes of Augustus)
2) These sheep were likely used in the temple’s daily sacrifices and to generate money for the Sadducees at the pilgrim feasts
3) These shepherds would be among the first to see the “lamb of God”
I. Size Up the Significance of the Moment (v. 8)
A. God is at work Where we Are
1. We may not have “eyes to see”
2. We may be too busy to notice
3. But God is at work all around us -- 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” John 5.17 (Sabbath accusations and calling God, Father)
B. God is at Work in the Ordinary Tasks
1. We have a tendency to pass on the ordinary and look for the spectacular (Ukraine Restoration Movement)
1809 – Napoleon invading Austria and yet, babies were being born – William Gladstone in Liverpool, England; Alfred Tennyson in Lincolnshire; Oliver Wendell Holmes in Cambridge, MA; Edgar Allen Poe in Boston; Charles Darwin; A. Lincoln in Hardin County, KY – no one cared about the babies because the world was being shaped on the battlefields in Austria – or was it? No, look at the impact of these born in 1809.
Go back 18 centuries – who cared about a baby when the Roman Empire was growing with an enormous Roman army – Augustus Caesar demanded a census so he could enlarge the taxes on people – no one cared about a couple heading to Bethlehem? Who cared about the baby that would be born to them? God did – Augustus would merely be the errand boy to fulfill the prediction of Micah (5.2). God arrived in the flesh but the world overlooked it. [from C. Swindoll – “Seasons of Life”
[“Gene’s Little Friends” (Weekly Children’s Sermons) – we can look at the BIG political/economic issues of the day and the real question is, “What child is God raising up today who will do something of great significance in the future?”
2. Shepherds were “doing their jobs” even as ordinary as they were and they were permitted to see the Son of God
3. God leads us from where we are to where he wants us to be – in his timing
II. See the Significant Savior (9-14)
A. He is the Universal Savior (10)
1. FEAR comes when we encounter new opportunities – we have questions; recognize risks and the unknown
2. Calmed by the heavenly message
A 65-year-old woman went to see her doctor. Her regular physician whom she’d went to for years wasn’t available so she had to see one of the younger doctors in the same practice.
It wasn’t long after talking to this young doctor that she went running down the hall screaming at the top of her lungs. She bumped into her regular doctor and he took her by the arms and asked her what was wrong.