Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
Shepherds and the glory of the Lord in the same sentence. Shepherds enjoyed a great heritage in Israel with Abraham, Moses, and David as notable shepherds and God being identified through Psalm 23 as a great shepherd. But by this time in Israelite history, they were not highly regarded. They smelled like sheep. They spent their time with sheep. They were not really clean and religious enough to be considered spiritual. So when God chose to announce the birth of Jesus to shepherds with his contingent of angels he makes his point clear: Everyone is loved by God, everyone has access to God, and everyone is desired by God.
Holy and Almighty God, I confess to you that sometimes the outward appearance and reputation of a person colors the way I treat them. But today, I’m convicted of how much you want everyone to know about your grace in Jesus. Give me a heart to love all people and passion to share your grace with them. In the name of Jesus I pray this. Amen.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shown 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 Lord.”
You have to love the fact that God sent the angels to reveal the birth of Jesus first to lowly shepherds just doing their jobs at tending their flocks in the fields. He didn’t send them straight to the religious leaders in Jerusalem, but to humble men doing an honest days work!
As you can imagine the shepherds were more than a little terrified when the angels appeared to them! Anyone would recoil in terror at the night sky suddenly becoming bright and shinning with heavenly beings! But the angel soon comforted them and told them to “fear not”. It would be very comforting to hear him say “fear not”, and “I bring you great joy”! Then he broke the news of why they would have great joy, a Baby has been born nearby in Bethlehem, and not just any baby, but the Christ/Savior of the world.
The angel has given a theology in miniature version:
First, He is the Savior, which is expressed in His name Jesus.
Then He is Christ, the anointed of God, the Messiah of Israel.
Finally, He is the Lord, God manifest in the flesh.
God is still revealing Himself to the hearts of common people today. He did not send Jesus to die just for kings, rulers, and religious leaders, He sent His one and only Son to this earth to die for ALL (John 3:16). Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and His bloodshed for the forgiveness of their sins becomes a child of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Why in the world would anyone reject such a marvelous gift from God?! (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Thank You Jesus for coming to this wicked world and dying for my sins. Thank You for loving me and redeeming me to God, I love You so much my Savior, Author and Finisher of my faith, my King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Hallelujah Amen!