February 19, 2022
“In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them...”
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“In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all people: Today a savior who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.” Luke 2:8-11
On the night Jesus was born, the Lord chose shepherds to be His first visitors. And what a celebration it was, complete with angel chorus! The shepherds found Jesus in the city of David. If you think about it, the city of “David” was the perfect place for a first viewing of the One who would “shepherd” Israel; and, perhaps, the safest place for the Lamb of God to be delivered.
Have you ever wondered why the angels first appeared to the lowly shepherds? If Messiah would atone for sin, shouldn’t the religious leaders have been alerted first? If the government was to be placed upon His shoulders, shouldn’t the politicians have been invited?
It is safe to say there were two kinds of shepherds in Israel at that time: Good and Bad.
Those who held the “Office of Shepherd” had become compromised by either worldliness or legalism. That is, the religious leaders were so Heavenly minded that they were no earthly good. At the same time, the politicians were so Worldly-minded that they were no Heavenly good. Either way, the sheep (people) were being led astray.
The only honest shepherds left in Israel were the actual ones. They were the ones in the field, faithfully minding the flocks just as David was doing when his father called for him, and Samuel anointed him, king.
“‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!’ This is the Lord’s declaration. Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd my people: you have scattered My flock, banished them, and have not attended to them. I will attend to you because of your evil acts.’ – the Lord’s declaration. ‘I will gather the remnant of My flock from the lands where I have banished them, and I will return them to their grazing land. They will become fruitful and numerous. I will raise up shepherds over them. They will no longer be afraid or dismayed, nor will any be missing.’ This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘The days are coming’ – this is the Lord’s declaration – ‘when I will raise up a righteous Branch of David.’” Jeremiah 13:1-5
No one is worthy of holding the “Office of Shepherd” unless they are willing to do a shepherd’s work: to honestly protect the sheep owner’s assets and personally care for the well-being of each individual sheep.