“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” Luke 2:8-20
He stood almost 9 feet tall, very muscular and handsome, with eyes that flashed with joy and vengeance,
simultaneously! He wore on his side a giant sword, that could be unsheathed and used with precision accuracy at any moment! He was dazzling to look at, this angel of God, not at all like our depiction of chubby baby angels who sit in window sills! Angels of God, His own warriors, are much larger and fiercer than our western depiction of them and they showed up to a group of temple shepherds who were guarding their sheep the night Jesus was born!
One angel came to the shepherds, and with just the one, Matthew records that, “the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.” The light of God’s Presence is so intense that John says that it alone will bring enough heat and light in Heaven to eliminate the need for the sun! (Rev 22:5) So God’s intense, radiant Presense is enough to cause the shepherds to drop in fear! He tells them not to be fearful, because he brings Good News: “the Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” (vs 11-12) If they weren’t terrified enough, “a vast host of others-the armies of God” show up, praising God with a melody that rang out, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased!” (vs 14) (There’s lots to think about with that statement alone, 1. What makes angels rejoice? 2. God is please–different teaching for different days!) Bottom line–ALL OF HEAVEN was rejoicing the the birth of God’s Son and the shepherds were not only invited by God to rejoice with them, but to run to Bethlehem, to see what God had done!
So the shepherds did just that: they ran to Bethlehem, located Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and worshipped Jesus as their Messiah! The shepherds also told their story and as a result, “All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished” (vs 18). (Vs 19 also says that Mary stored all this up in her heart to ponder-again, a different study for a different day!)
God sent angels with the Greatest News in the history of mankind, to socially the lowliest people who were expecting Him. Ironically, these outcast shepherds, likely kept the very sheep that were used as sacrifices for the temple worship services, yet they themselves were shunned as lowly and unclean! BUT NOT BY GOD! He chose them to have a “front row seat” to one of the greatest events in history!
Don’t ever think God doesn’t see you as being God enough to receive His love, grace, forgiveness and salvation. You’re who Jesus came to save!
Don’t be afraid to share your story of how Jesus changed your life with other. The shepherd’s story astounded people!
Think about it!