It was time to unveil the biggest news ever, that would forever ruin the devil’s agenda for mankind, and that would transform the entire world. The Messiah was born!
But here’s what is interesting – God sent his angels with this news not to the Bible scholars or teachers, not even to the priests, prophets or kings, but there were shepherds out in the fields nearby and the Angel of the Lord appeared to them! ( Luke 2:8-9)
Now in those times shepherds were the bottom rung of the social ladder. They were despised and considered to be untrustworthy. But God chose them to be carriers of His glory! There’s good news – We are living in the last days and God is revealing His glory to men in a manner like never before. All He is seeking is someone after His heart. And that’s the only qualification you need! You may still have the smell of sheep all over you, and you may be not be ‘fitting’ as per the world’s standards, but if YOU are willing to be used by God, God is more than willing to use you!
What was so special about these shepherds?
They were keeping a watch
While the entire world was deep in sleep in the warmth of their beds, these shepherds were out in the cold of the night watching over their flocks. And they did this night after night, season after season.
God is looking to reveal His heart to men and women who are not comfortable in the comfort of the world. But those who are keeping a watch – who are praying! And for whom fellowshipping with God is not a one off activity, but a lifestyle.
God is looking for people who have the shepherd’s heart. Jesus says, I am the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep ( John 10:11). That means my sheep’s life is more valuable to me than my life. These are the kind of people who are not bothered about praying for their personal needs, but are praying as per Holy Spirit’s agenda.
They were seeking the Messiah
If I have to share the deep secrets of my heart with someone, I will choose to share it with someone who values it. I believe God revealed the good news of the birth of Jesus to these shepherds because they valued it and were desperately looking forward to it. They must be talking, dreaming, singing, praying about it all the time. May be they were looking at the sky that time, asking for a sign. And boom, in a flash, these shepherds saw what no one else in the Bible saw – a great company of angels singing and praising God.
They were obedient
As soon as the angles announced the good news to the shepherds, the Bible says, they hurried off to see what they heard. Another version of the Bible says, they ran across the fields. They were so desperate that they didn’t wait for the sun to rise, they weren’t even bothered about how far this manger was, but their response was instant obedience. And what about their sheep? They trusted God to take care of their sheep while they were away.
God is looking to reveal His heart to His children who would instantly obey Him. Who would run to be in His presence. “Oh, I got lot of work to complete, I have a job, I have my ministry, but I choose to run into His presence instead. And I know when I do that, I don’t have to worry about the things I leave behind, He will take care of the rest.”
They became the carriers of the good news
Once the shepherds saw Jesus, they began to share the good news with others. And the people who heard the news were amazed. Remember when God gives you a Word, more often than not, it is not for you to keep, but you got to share it. And as you do that people will be amazed, because they will realise that it is not the unpolished and unqualified shepherd who is speaking, but God speaking. You got to move from being a receiver of the blessing to a carrier of it.
They returned, glorifying and praising God
Finally, the shepherds returned and got back to work. They continued doing what they were called to do. They didn’t seek publicity, they didn’t seek the applause of men, they got back to their sheep. They got busy praising and thanking God.
As we come to the end of this year, let’s learn from these shepherds and continue to seek the presence of God with hunger and humility like never before!