Milton A. Hollifield Jr. On What We Can Learn From the Shepherds

In the synoptic Gospels, Luke 2:8-20, Dr. Luke records the glorious announcement that Jesus Christ had been born in Bethlehem. There was nothing ordinary about this special message. It was delivered by angels to a group of common shepherds on a Judean countryside when it was so unexpected, their night vision was overcome by the brilliant light of God’s glory that flashed all around them and scared them to death.

The shepherds play an important part of the Christmas narrative, and they have become popular characters in our modern traditions. Shepherd figurines adorn storefronts and lawn displays. We sing about shepherds in many of our popular Christmas carols and they are always in nativity displays.

Even though we read of the shepherds in the biblical narrative and are reminded of them throughout the Christmas season, have you ever stopped to consider who they are, the role they play and what we can learn from them?

We actually don’t know much about the shepherds who are referenced in Luke’s account, but can you put yourself in their place on that first Christmas night?

As they faithfully kept watch over their flock, angels suddenly appeared to inform that the promised Messiah has been born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-14).

Most of us would expect that such a message would first be proclaimed to those with status and nobility rather than to lowly shepherds who probably didn’t even own the sheep they were tending.

Yet, as John 3:16 reminds us, Jesus came for all people — rich or poor, male or female, whatever their race, ethnicity or skin color.

The initial fear that the shepherds experienced soon turned to joy after hearing the angels’ message.

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Source: Baptist Press