It interests me that God used such a variety of characters in what we call the Christmas Story. Rich, kingly wise men, glorious angels, a young innocent girl, a godly young man, wicked rulers, and lowly shepherds.
I can think of lots of reasons why God would pick the shepherds to announce the birth of our Savior. There are so many analogies that could be made regarding sheep and shepherds. And each one has a lesson for us to learn.
We often hear that term I used above – lowly shepherds. It wasn’t just that they were humble. It was because they were despised. In first-century Palestine, shepherds were of the lowest class possible. They were not allowed to observe ceremonial law because they were unclean. They weren’t allowed in the temple or synagogues. Shepherds were considered unreliable and not even allowed to give testimony in court! Why would God pick them?
Have you ever wondered why God picked you?
When the shepherds heard about Jesus, they ran to go see Him. After seeing Him, they told everyone they could find all about Him. Then they returned to their sheep, still praising God for all the things that had happened that night. They did not complain that they had work to do, that they weren’t good enough, or that someone else would be better equipped.
When God picks you – whether it is to give birth (like Mary), be faithful (like Joseph), sing praise (like the angels), give gifts (like the wise men), spread the good news of Jesus (like the shepherds), or just worship Him (like they all did) – remember, it’s because you fit God’s criteria. Even if you feel unclean, don’t have a good reputation, don’t feel you have the skills, or just plain don’t fit in, the fact that Jesus came changes all that. He came to be your Savior, which is good news of great joy. He came to make you clean and to bring you into his family, where you will always fit in.
And the angels made sure to announce that this good news is for all people – even me. Even you.