“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke 2:8-11
Have you ever wondered why it was to shepherds that the angels first announced the birth of Jesus Christ? Why not to Herod the Great, or the High Priest, or to a prominent Biblical scholar of that day, or the richest man in town? Why break the greets news ever to a bunch of smelly shepherds?
It is interesting to note that although Israel had a history of some of their greatest leaders starting life as shepherds: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Amos the prophet. Even YHWH was portrayed as a shepherd in Psalm 23. The Israel that Jesus was born into, society had a tendency to look down on shepherds. They were considered generally untrustworthy & their testimonies were inadmissible in court. YET, it was to them that the “good news of great joy” from God was first announced. Not to the high & mighty of Jerusalem society, but to the lowly shepherd.
The important point for us is the fact that the angels first appeared to shepherds speaks to us of God’s heart FOR ALL MEN & that the good news of Jesus Christ is for all men not just a select few. The American pastor & scholar Warren Wiersbe writes, “God does not call the rich & mighty; He calls the poor and the lowly.” Nowhere is this clearer than when a bunch of smelly shepherds were the first to hear the Good News of the Saviour born in Bethlehem.
The “good news of great joy” that is found in Jesus is for both the Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, educated and unlearned, male and female, the hurting and the healthy. IT IS FOR ALL PEOPLE. Your social, economic, educational status; your circumstance, your situation does not disqualify you from God. When you come to God in humility and faith, no matter your past sins or present status, you will never be excluded from His Kingdom and His goodwill.