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WITNESSES TO CHRISTíS BIRTH:
The Shepherds

I. Introduction: 

 We are not surprised to be told by the Scriptures that Jesusí earthly parents were witnesses of His birth.  We expect them to be there.  Yet, the shepherds should surprise us.  To be a shepherd in Jesusí day was not a noble occupation.  They were considered ceremonially unclean because of their practices and were often viewed as barely above a common thief.  They were lowly men who werenít even allowed to be witnesses in court.  Needless to say, it should surprise us that the shepherds were chosen as witnesses.  Yet, they were there.  How did it all happen?

II.  The Shepherds:

 A.  The message of the angels (v. 8-14): Luke tells us that while these shepherds were watching their flocks at night, an angel appeared to them.  They were filled with fear because the glory of the Lord shone around them.  The angel told them not to be afraid and that he had good news.  What was the good news?  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  Did you catch that?  The angel says that a Savior has been born unto you.  These poor, despised shepherds have been given a Savior.  After the angel tells them how to find the baby more angels appear praising and glorifying God.  What an amazing picture?  Angels glorying God in front of mere shepherds, declaring to them the birth of Christ!

 B.  The response of the shepherds (v. 15-20): So how do the shepherds respond to such amazing news?  Well, first, they go to see the baby.  They went and found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger.  Luke notes that they went with haste, indicating their obedience and their enthusiasm.  When they arrived, they told them about the angels and all that they had seen and heard.  After his comment concerning Mary, Luke records: And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.  They responded to the good news of Jesusí birth with praise to God.  They worshipped Him and glorified Him for making them witnesses to the birth of the Savior.

III.  Conclusion:

 In one sense, we are very much like the shepherds.  We are low and weak and despised.  And we are such things not because of our occupation or reputation, we are such things because of our sin.  We are sinners who have rebelled against God and gone are own way.  Who are we to know of the birth of Christ?  Who are we to be told the good news?  Even more than the shepherds, we are unworthy to be told of such glad tidings.  Yet, just as the Lord humbled Himself to be born in a stable, witnessed by shepherds, so has He humbled Himself to be our Savior by dying on a cross for our sins.  Glory be to God indeed!!  May we be humbled by Christís humility and may we respond to Him and all that He has done for us by glorifying and praising God for all that we have seen and heard.  Amen.

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 December 2010 )

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