Luke 2: 7-16
 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (KJV)
THE SHEPHERDS (on the night of Christ’s birth)
First, a bit of background information. People like Isaac and Jacob were considered blessed to have held the honorable and noble careers as shepherds. The Priest Jethro raised his daughters as shepherdesses and even David had once held the job of watching over the sheep.
However, as time went on, farming took precedence over shepherding. By the time of Christ’s birth, shepherds were outcasts and considered untrustworthy, thieves, third class, the lowest people of all. At the time of Jesus’ birth, shepherds would never have been even considered for an invitation to any type of celebration, much less to welcome and give witness to a new born King.
People of that day, would have been horrified that the shepherds were invited to witness the brand new Messiah, especially since kings, priests, pharisees and other religious leaders were excluded. So why did God have angels call the shepherds to be the very first visitors to the baby Jesus?
God was obviously setting the stage for his Son and the work He was about to do.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus was consistently seeking out the poor, the sickly, those banished from town due to evil or diseases, the thieves, fishermen, tax collectors, robbers, sinners and all those who were considered not quite fit to be members of society. However, all were welcomed, loved and accepted by Jesus.
So we can see that inviting the shepherds, to be the first witnesses to the Holy Child, was done with purpose. Starting on the very first day of Christ’s life, the shepherd’s presence shows that no matter who we are, what we are, rich or poor, or even the number of or the degree of sins we carry; everyone is welcomed before the presence of Christ (God).
Luke tells us the story of the shepherds:
An angel appeared to shepherds; who were in the same country where Mary had just given birth, telling them that the Saviour, Christ the Lord was born in the City of David. The angel tells them where they can find the child and how they will know it is Him.
Then the sky was suddenly filled with (possibly) millions of angels who were singing and praising God for the Christ who is to bring peace and goodwill to the earth.
The angels, made quite clear that this particular baby was someone very special and deserving of everyone’s praises and worship. Yes, even the shepherds.
The shepherds didn’t waste any time after the Angels were gone. They left immediately and went into Bethlehem and found Mary, Joseph, and saw the baby Christ, lying in a manager on that very night he was born.
Thank you that you loved us enough to send your only Son, even knowing everything that he would have to face to bring salvation to the world.
Thank you that the stage was set, at the beginning of his birth. Every person (regardless of sin, sex, race, standing in society or occupation) can come before Jesus. As he grew up and began his ministry, he welcomed everyone that came to him, never turning anyone away that longed to hear the truth. Today is no different. All those who come before him, asking for forgiveness, mercy and grace, find love and salvation.
Thank you that the Holy Spirit was sent to us to continue what Jesus began. If we ask, the Holy Ghost will lead us, guide us and help Christians to walk (and stay on) the narrow path that leads to eternal life.
Thank you Father that these methods were not set in place as Plan B, but rather were the intention, to bring salvation from the beginning of the foundation of the earth.
In His holy name, I pray.