No Ordinary Night in the Fields
Just imagine being one of these smelly, tired shepherds sitting on a hill, trying desperately to stay awake while your sheep drift off to sleep. When, all of a sudden, you’re jolted from your quiet vigil with a startling display of God’s handiwork, piercing the dark night’s sky.
I bet the shepherds thought they were dreaming as the angel of the Lord appeared and proclaimed this iconic and life-transformational news about the Savior being born. Surely they must have rubbed their eyes and squinted with fear and wonder at this miraculous sight and good news.
Could this really be true? Would the Messiah have come in the form of a little baby lying in a feeding troth for barn animals?
Maybe once the angelic messenger and heavenly host left the shepherds, these awe-struck men stood blinking back tears and exchanging looks that conveyed, “Did you just see what I saw and heard?” With simple nods to one another and overjoyed grins on their faces, they must have gathered up their sheep and hurried down to the town of David—sleepy little Bethlehem—to find and worship this Savior who included them in His call.
Motley Crew and the Messiah
Did you know that Bethlehem’s shepherds were given the special task of caring for the sheep that were used in the temple sacrifices? What makes this even more intriguing and ironic was that the Jewish rabbis had banned shepherds entry into the temple as witnesses—considering them to be unworthy, social outcasts as well.
It is clear that God paradoxically chose to reveal the birth of His Son to a group of rag-tag men who had been rejected and marginalized by their own people. Furthermore, God granted these ordinary shepherds the distinct honor of being first to hear the good news about the “Great Shepherd” (Hebrews 13:20).
Jesus Identifies with Those He Came to Save
Knowing that God chose to reveal this good news to those who were undeserving and unremarkable encourages me. It reminds me of how compassionate and loving the Lord is, especially with those who have been hurt, rejected and bring nothing to Him but humble hearts.
Jesus is the Savior of the poor and needy in spirit—not the Stylist sent to improve our status.
Even though it might seem easier and more comfortable to see Jesus as the One who represents the perfect, put-together, social elite in society, nothing could be further from the truth!
He is the Perfect One, to be sure!
But He remains in the fields—calling to all who see their need for His salvation and hope.
Do you fear that your life is not clean or remarkable enough for Jesus to want you?
Or maybe you want to align yourself with those who think and act like they have their acts all together, instead of seeking Jesus like a lowly and outcast shepherd?
If either of these are true for you, then remember that Jesus broke through every barrier just so you could be His own. Don’t waste another minute hesitating. Seek Him and His good news today!