2011-12-23 - The Shepherds
Luke 2:8-20 (NASB)
This year I've tried to look at the Christmas story in different ways. In this passage I was drawn to the shepherds. I noticed four things about these people which I'm sure more clever people than me have also observed and crafted into great sermons but today I want to keep it simple because the first Christmas was simple. The shepherds were simple people simply doing their jobs when the story begins.
First we see that they heard the great news. The angels said, "A savior has been born for you." This news was personal because the savior was born for them. He was born for us too. The news was prophetic too because it predicted that the baby would be a savior. It wasn't his birth that saves us it was his death.
Next we see that the shepherds came to jesus. When the angels left they said, "Let's go straight to Bethlehem." They went to Jesus. We have to believe the news and act on it by going to him too.
Third we see the point I want to camp out on for a bit; they left. Verse 20 says, "The shepherds went back." I think this is important because too many come to Jesus and just stay. They forget that he commands us to go. Some people are so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good as I've heard many old preachers say. I've heard Christians say they can't go to this place or that place because sinners are there; like America many years ago they want to live in isolation. Isolation doesn't work; it was never the plan. We must go - go back. Go back and tell others.
Lastly we see that they were changed. With all they saw and heard, they couldn't help but worship him. They glorified and praised God. If we want to change the world, we must do so after Christ changes us. Excitement is contagious. I pray that we would all get excited about Jesus.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted.