2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
2:16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
2:17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;
2:18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
2:19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
2:21 After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
I love the response that the shepherd’s give when they hear the message of Christ coming down to this earth. There was no hesitation in their desire to go and find the Savour who would ultimately save the world from sin and darkness once and for all. This is a passage full of hope, joy and celebration. It is a moment in history that bears witness to Christ coming down to this earth and giving a message so full of Joy that the shepherd’s could not contain their excitement and spread the news to those whom they came in contact with. They actively sought and pursued the child in whom would become ultimate king and ruler over all.
This kind of response makes me think that this is how we ought to act every time we are exposed to the message of the gospel. It is news that should fill our hearts with inexpressible joy and peace. It should cause to do as the shepherd’s did and praise and glorify the name of God for all that He has done. It reminds of the passage in Romans that says,
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13).
Salvation gives us an enterally bounding sense of peace and hope. Let us always be joyfully pursuing the God who loves us and saved us and will continue to extend His hand of Grace each and everyday.
I find it interesting that God could have just as easily not included the shepherds in the birth narrative of the Savior. Why include the lowly shepherds? I believe it reinforces a theme in the gospel of Luke; that God is calling all people to Him, not just the privileged.
This is seen in the Parable of the great banquet in Luke 14.
Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ (Luke 14:16-21)
This parable is paralleled in other gospels and it depicts the failure of God’s chosen people, which leads to God bypassing them and welcoming all people….which was supposed to be the job of Israel (to be a light to all the nations).
Who is God going to use to spread the gospel? The humble, the meek, the poor, the blind, and the lowly. You don’t have to be “good enough” for God, just willing like the shepherds. Never feel like God can’t use you for His purpose. He turned a shepherd boy into a king and used 12 misfits to turn the world upside down.