1. The greatest event that has ever happened. The biggest breaking news story. An announcement sent directly from God Himself.
2. This is what the shepherds heard that night so many years ago. They were the first people to whom God announced the birth of His Son.
3. What is a matter of convenience - the shepherds just happened to be there? Or was there another reason why God gave this special honour to these shepherds?
4. As we consider why God gave this message to the shepherds and we see their response, may we also consider how we respond to Christ’s birth.
5. A shepherd pastures or tenda a flock. Abel is the first shepherd is mentioned in Bible. Abel - whose sacrifice was acceptable. Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Jacob’s sons were all shepherds..
6. Because they were shepherds that they were not allowed to dwell near the Egyptians, because the shepherds were considered unclean by them (Gen.46:34). They were lonely men. They spent weeks away from the cities, camping out in the fields with their sheep. They had to keep moving to keep the animals on fresh pasture. They were rough, uneducated men, accustomed to hard life. Most were illiterate and unrefined. . People in the cities looked down on the shepherding life. Shepherds could not keep the ceremonies and traditions of the scribes and elders of Israel. They were not allowed to serve in the courts as witnesses because of the rough lives most of them lived. The Talmud stated, "No help should be given to heathen and shepherds." Sepherds had a lowly position in society.
7. God says that he hates pride and arrogance. He comes to those who are humble and open to His word.
1 Cor 1:28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--
8. Perhaps that is why God announced Christ’s birth to the shepherds.
9. Or perhaps He chose the shepherds because God compares His relationship with us as that of a shepherd with His sheep.
David says "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
Isa 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young.
And Jesus is called: The Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. In fact He often chose shepherds to lead His people - Moses, David.
10. Or perhaps because shepherds were faithful. The shepherd faithfully guarded his sheep, as I have already mentioned, even when they were folded or in their pen at night. Often the shepherd would sleep with the animals in olden. Shepherding was practically a 24 hour a day job. They often had to be out in rough weather and brave the cold, moisture, and sand storms to take care of their flocks.
11. They remind us of our faithful God. And we also need to be faithful - to God and to those God has entrusted to our care.
12. These shepherds were also willing to be sheep, to follow the great shepherd.
vs 15 says, "Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened"
They believed what the angel said, that this child born was for them, so they followed all the way to where Jesus lay in Bethlehem.
13. Are we willing to follow God and Jesus when we are called?
14. They showed an excitement or zeal.
vs. 15 "They came and made haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe, lying in a manger."
It says "They came with haste." They made an all out effort, and did not waste any time; they put all they had into the work of God.
15. Someone said, "It is not enough to be on the right track, you have to be moving or you get run over.
16. They shared with others about their discovery
vs 17 says, "They made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child."
They had good news and had to get it out..
17. Are we spiritually elated and excited about what the Lord means to us and because of what He has done for us?
18. No one should have to tell us to witness.
Ac 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
19. They worshipped God for what He had done.
Luke 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
20. Perhaps it was their humble state. Perhaps they somehow felt close to God on those dark, lonely nights. Perhaps they understood God better because they knew what it meant to shepherd. But they responded to the good news.