[CF Devotionals] 2011-12-23 - The Shepherds

Luke 2:8-20 (NASB)

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

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.

Merry Christmas!


[email adam] acdum@hotmail.com

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted.