Summary: Let’s ponder, why did God pick lowly shepherds to announce the birth of His Son?
WHY SHEPHERDS? WHY US?
By Wade Martin Hughes, sr Kyfingers@aol.com
The 23 Psalm and John: 1-18 and
Luke 2: 8--20
John 10: 4-5
I ponder today an amazing thought, Why did God announce the birth of the King to shepherds? I know we serve a wise and all knowing God, but there must be a reason God choose shepherds.
My text will be The 23 Psalm and John: 1-18 and Luke 2, for time sake I will not write these out, you can read before looking at this.
First, may I establish Jesus is our good shepherd. He will rise above a hireling to give His life for the flock. The first shepherd in the Bible was a man named Abel.
Sheep are one of the most mentioned animals in the Bible, sheep/lamb is mentioned over 750xs. By nature sheep are helpless creatures that are totally dependent on the good shepherd for food source, water-finding, and to give protection and fight off all enemies.
Sheep are social animals, and after a bonding period become a model of complete trust and following. The word sheep is both singular and plural.
Those given to take care of sheep are called shepherds. There are basically two kinds of shepherds in the Bible,
1) hireling--selfish, lazy, and little love of sheep. Then those that we shall call 2) good shepherds--always vigilant, searching for good pasture, and prepared for whatever comes. The biggest differences between a hireling and a good shepherd are what they do when under attack----the hireling runs for safety, the good shepherd has prepared and stands between the danger and the flock, and if necessary will lay down his life for the sheep. For the sheep are a source of provision for his family and the community, clothing and food.
In the Bible the office of shepherd is often PREPARATIONAL. THE SHEPHERD MUST SEE REASON /PURPOSE /PLAN for his seemly lowly job. A good shepherd must see beyond today and think ahead. There will come terrible storms, droughts, and enemies -- the good shepherd has a strategy or strategies to maximize the good and minimize the bad.
The famous picture of Jesus with the little lamb on His shoulder illustrates a good point.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Is there a difference between rod and staff? Yes, just like a fiddle and a violin, they are the same, tuned the same, the difference is in how you play it. "Boil the cabbage down".............. is the fiddle, Mozart is the violin. The staff is for leadership and comfort, the rod is for correction and discipline. Now, we must know that not all discipline is punishment, yet punishment is part of discipline. Real discipline is training that corrects or molds.
Back to Jesus and the little lamb on His shoulder, the artist was depicting a message. A little lamb kept wandering away from the flock, and developed a habit of wandering, the good shepherd would go after the lamb. Well, the good shepherd knew the wandering lamb was endangering self and others for isolation will endanger all. After the lamb has established a wandering attitude, the staff that has drawn the lamb, will become the rod and gently the shepherd will hit the little lamb’s front leg and gently break the leg. Now, the little lamb can’t run away. Until the little lamb’s leg is healed the good shepherd will carry the wandering-proned lamb on his shoulder from one green pasture to another, and the little lamb will learn to recognize the shepherd’s voice...(John 10:4-5)
Now, was the shepherd’s rod mean to hurt temporarily the little lamb?? The lamb must: learn that no other voice matters, and will flee from others’ voices. The only one that sees this as mean will be the little lamb at first and the big, bad, wolf all the time. Heb.12:11 Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Any good father / shepherd will teach/discipline the lambs, this is part of growth.
Now, back to the office of a shepherd as a preparational profession. Moses was a student in the best schools pharaoh and Egypt could offer. Not only this, but Moses had learned in the same rocking chair that Aaron and Miriam learned. If only momma’s would be teachers for the Most High. But, student Moses had some more lessons, before God could use him as a leader. So because of an APB on Moses head, he packs his bags and heads for a new dormitory. Moses finds a real education in the Higher School of Suffering at the Back Side of the Desert. Why would God send Moses, his developing shepherd/leader into hot barren land not capable of supporting a big population? I thought God had big plans for this shepherd?