And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” – Luke 2:8-14
Why did God choose to first announce the birth of his son Jesus to lowly shepherds? Why not carpenters, craftsmen or dignitaries? Shepherds were not well thought of at that time and usually came from the lower class of society. They slept on the ground and smelled like sheep. They had to live well outside of town and tend to sheep even in the middle of the night like in the passage above.
So why shepherds? Well it is truly simple. God will reveal himself to those he chooses to reveal himself. That night he chose the shepherds; he knew their hearts were open to him. He knew they would be obedient to his directions and would proclaim the good news of the Savior to all around.
God is not concerned with your social status or occupation; he is interested in your heart. God chose these shepherds and blessed them with a special message. The same message still applies today and is now being proclaimed to you. The good news is that Jesus came to earth to redeem his people. Jesus Christ is the true Good Shepherd (John 10) and he wants to tend to your soul. Is your heart ready to receive this message? If so it is truly good news of great joy!
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