Please open your Bible and read Luke 2:8-20.
Can you imagine being one of those shepherds?
Imagine seeing an angel of the Lord. What did he look like? How would you feel in his presence?
Imagine having the glory of the Lord shine around you. How bright would that be? Would it be warm? Would it make you feel loved, exposed, special or scared?
What about the sound of the angel’s voice. What would that sound like? Would the sound of his voice frighten you?
Then, imagine seeing a multitude of angels and hearing them speak? I wonder what that would look and sound like.
I imagine this would be an unforgettably amazing experience! One you would remember for the rest of your life. One that I think would change you forever.
These shepherds experienced it.
Chosen by God
Being a shepherd was a difficult and dirty job. It was not a prestigious career, nor was it sought after. You did not need to get a degree to do this job and you were not paid a lot of money. Often shepherds lived in difficult conditions and were outside no matter what the weather was doing – rain, snow, wind or the hot sun. They were to protect the sheep from dangerous wild animals. Shepherds were unique people.
But our Lord chose them to be the first to hear that the Savior was born.
Why did He choose them?
The Shepherd & His Sheep
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand (John 10:27-28, NKJV).”
In this passage Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd and says His sheep – believers, followers of Jesus – hear His voice and follow Him, and He knows them.
Did you know that shepherds have a very close relationship with their sheep? They know their sheep so well that if they make a familiar noise or call, the sheep respond instantly. Some shepherds even have names for their sheep that suit the sheep’s personality, character or mannerisms.
Perhaps when you and I look at a flock of sheep we simply see animals that look the same as the rest, but the shepherd who has a special relationship with the sheep knows them so much better.
Just as these shepherds knew their own sheep so the Lord knew these shepherds. They heard His voice and they followed Him. After this experience, “they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child (Luke 2:17, NKJV).”. And “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen … (Luke 2:20, NKJV).”
Known by God & Making Him Known
God wanted faithful, bold people to experience these amazing things, people who would follow through and spread the word, and these shepherds were just those people.
It didn’t matter what they had or hadn’t done in the past, it didn’t matter that their job was not prestigious or in the spotlight. It didn’t matter how much or little money they made. It didn’t matter who their family was.
God chose them, and He chose them to experience something amazing, and, in turn, they worshipped and praised God and they told others about their experience.
As we walk through this Christmas season, I hope you remember you are known by your Shepherd. He knows your unique personality, mannerisms and character. He knows the difficulties you’ve faced this last year. He knows the blessings you experienced. He was with you in those times and He has a plan for you.
Therefore, I encourage you to follow the example of the shepherds. Just as the shepherds responded to the experience God brought to them, I encourage you to spread the good news of our Saviour, tell others of how He has been active in your life this last year and continue to glorify and praise God.
Written by Pastor Dan Kowalczyk