Summary: The birth of Jesus Christ was not revealed to kings or rulers. It was not revealed to the religious elite. When God came to earth, He let the world know by announcing the birth of His Son to lowly shepherds.
The birth of Jesus Christ was not revealed to kings or rulers. It was not revealed to the religious elite. When God came to earth, He let the world know by announcing the birth of His Son to lowly shepherds. Why? Perhaps He wanted the poor and outcast of society to know that they were important too. It may have been that God wanted the lowliest of humanity to realize that His love included them, especially in a world where they were normally excluded. Moreover, it seems to me that He wanted all of us to understand that the qualities of love, mercy, and compassion were to be extended to everyone regardless of their social standing.
I. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO THE LOWLIEST OF HUMANITY. Luke 2:8-10
Note: Among Jews at the time of Christ’s birth, shepherds were held in very low esteem. In the Talmud it is written that shepherds were not allowed in the courts to be witnesses. In fact the Talmud instructs that no help be given to heathens or to shepherds. Shepherds were despised because they were unable to attend temple services and to keep the rituals and ceremonial laws as their flocks kept them from practicing their religion. (see "The Pulpit Commentary" on Luke 2:8-20)
Illustration: Poverty Perspective
In Hollywood there is an exclusive school attended by children of movie stars, producers, and directors. Asked to write a composition on the subject of poverty, one little girl started her literary piece: "Once there was a poor little girl. Her father was poor, her mother was poor, her governess was poor, her chauffeur was poor, her butler was poor. In fact, everybody in the house was very, very poor. (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 371.)
1. He identifies with those who are weary. (Matthew 11:28-30)
2. He identifies with those who are unwise (unlearned in the ways of the world). (1 Corinthians 1:26-30)
a. If God were revealed in the wisdom of man, only wise men could know Him.
b. If God were revealed in the strength of man, only strong men could know Him.
c. If God were revealed in the accomplishments of man, only the proud could know Him.
d. If God were revealed in the wealth of man, only the rich could know Him.
e. God chooses to reveal Himself in those who are despised in the world so that when the miracle of salvation is wrought in them, God alone receives the glory.
3. He identifies with those who are humble. (1 Peter 5:5)
4. He identifies with those who are tempted. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
a. Jesus endured the same temptations we all face, but remained sinless because it was impossible for Him to sin.
b. Being tempted as we are, He sympathizes with our weaknesses. (Psalm 103:13-14)
c. He knows the struggle with temptation because He faced the full weight of temptation.
d. When we are tempted, we eventually reach a breaking point where we give in to the temptation.
e. At that point, the temptation stops ecause we sin.