Born Unto You
Luke 2:8-14 “And there were in the same
country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
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.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.
Unknown and insignificant to many, the shepherd’s life was one of hardship and isolation. It was a job that paid meager wages, a job without glory and little recognition. Being a shepherd was not a career choice. In a society such as Israel’s, somebody must watch the sheep. As a result, the poor man was able to carve his notch in society by hiring himself out to render this service to other men.
The hills of Judea were the work place of the shepherds. The soil was rocky, the hills and mountains were rugged and treacherous. The terrain was filled with wildlife from which the sheep must be shielded. Judea was hot in the summer and cold in the winter, cold enough at night to take the sheep out of the fields and place them into the folds. Being a shepherd was not necessarily back-breaking work, but it was certainly a lonely life almost sure to end in financial poverty.
God chose this class of men to be the first recipients of the greatest tidings ever revealed unto man kind. Was this a mistake? Could the angel have mistakenly delivered the message to the wrong people? There was no mistake. Unlike most monarchs, Jesus was a King for the people. “to all people.” The angle from the Lord delivered the message with pinpoint accuracy to those for whom it was intended, the people. The angel revealed "unto you a child is born." The Sovereign of the universe would come and be born to the people. The king would not be born within the walls of a royal palace, but rather in a barnyard stall where He could experience from the first day, the life of the people for which He came to save; the humble, the poor in spirit, the meek.
What happened next I like to refer to as the poor man’s concert. They, smelled like sheep, they were unshaven, dirty, and wearing their working clothes, yet these unsuspecting shepherds of Judea were the only guests invited to this heavenly concerto. A heavenly host proclaimed the praises of God for what was revealed to man. The peace that comes by knowing the Savior... now revealed. The love and goodwill that God bestowed on that day will never have its glory repeated. For on that day we, the people, were given the Gift of God. Emmanuel. We should give thanks for the birth of the Savior who is Christ the Lord. For without His birth, there could be no death and without His death, He could not become the firstborn from the dead. Oh how great the salvation in Jesus! How generous the grace of God who made it possible for all people to be saved through faith.
Perhaps you feel as unknown and as insignificant as a nameless shepherd in Judea. Be assured the Lord knows who you are. And though we never hear with our mortal ears the heavenly host praising God, on the day of your obedience to the gospel call, the heavenly chorus burst forth in songs of joy for the next measure of the poor man’s concert.
By Kenneth R. Peden
From Expository Files 10.11; November, 2003