Summary: I would propose to you, though much debate, speculation and misrepresentation surrounds the birth of Christ. There are Biblical truths that must be grasp if one is going fulfill their place in the proclaiming of the birth of Christ, like that of the shepherds.
Why the Shepherds?
Introduction: It is that time of the season when there is a desire to observe Christmas, give, show acts of charity and cling to those church traditions of the birth of Christ. Luke 2: gives us a clear truth that God intentionally broke the conjecture of man to bless, call and use those beyond the church structure. Jesus being the King of kings, humanly thinking, He would be born to royalty. Jesus being the King of the Jews - might have looked for Him to be born in the holy city, Jerusalem, not Bethlehem. And surely, not born in a stable and laid in a manger. (Luke 2:12; Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1975). The Gospel of Luke (p. 21). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press.)
Proposition: I would propose to you, though much debate, speculation and misrepresentation surrounds the birth of Christ. There are Biblical truths that must be grasp if one is going fulfill their place in the proclaiming of the birth of Christ, like that of the shepherds.
William Shakespeare penned these words in his play, As You Like It, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances…” Through the pain of delivery of the birth of Christ, Mary, Joseph and the angles had their appointed time in history. The shepherds had their public proclamation to give as well. You and I have our place in this play of life.
Interrogative Sentence: What Biblical truths have there foundation in the public proclamation of the Birth of Christ? Just how did the shepherds play their role and what influence should their way of worship have on us today?
Transitional Sentence: When a child is born into royalty, the media is all excited and we are publicly informed through news releases, internet, TV, radio with a list of ways of getting information out growing each year.
When Christ was born, God His Father sent a public announcement like no other. The Bible says, "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and 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 in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ [the Messiah] the Lord.'" (Luke 2:8-11)
Through heavenly revelation, an angel of the Lord, gives the first public announcement about the birth of Christ to ordinary people, common folk, shepherds not setting in a temple, but out in the fields. One would think, the birth of Christ would first be announced in the temple of God, to the Pharisees, the preachers of the day. The birth of the King of kings would be announced to the Royal courts, those in elite power of government. Then through the media of the day, the public heralds, the ones sent out to make public announcements.
When one sets his focus on the reason for the season, Jesus Christ, he begins to ask questions, "Why?" What was in the heart of the preachers and teachers of Jesus' time that would cause them to be out of the loop of heavenly things? What had such a control over governmental affairs that excluded them from hearing about the birth of the King of which some day everyone will bow their knee to. It is an wonderful revelation that God sent His message about the birth of His Son to the shepherds, simple people, who were often looked down upon by the orthodox good people of the day. Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1975). The Gospel of Luke (pp. 22–23). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press.
In all likelihood, these shepherds had already seen how in the Temple, morning and evening, an unblemished lamb was offered as a sacrifice to God. These lambs came from Temple authorities, which had their own private flocks, so the best offerings could be purchased by travelers coming to Jerusalem, to make the sacrifice required by law in the Temple of God.
Studying the Scriptures in the time they were written, we know that the flocks were pastured near Bethlehem. It is not out of reason to think that the shepherds, the Angel of the Lord spoke to were in charge of the flock from which the Temple offerings were chosen. If this is the case, what a lovely thing the Lord had done, in allowing the shepherds who over-saw the Temple flocks, to be the first to see the Lamb of God, Jesus in the manger, who was born to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. -- (Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1975). The Gospel of Luke (pp. 22–23). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press.; The Bible Knowledge Commentary)