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 2:10-11 NLT
It has always intrigued me that the first persons to receive the news of the birth of the Messiah were shepherds. The angel didn’t go tell the chief priests, scribes, or Levites. The Jewish leaders did not get a personal announcement. No, it was shepherds. If you go back two thousand years to check out the status of shepherds you will find they were not very high on the social ladder. The rabbis would not accept the testimony of a shepherd in court because they were considered untrustworthy. Shepherds were not only considered untrustworthy, but their work made them ceremonially unclean. The implication of the inclusion of the shepherds in the Christmas story is that the gospel first came to the social outcasts of Jesus’ day. Jesus demonstrated this principle throughout His earthly ministry by being considered a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Next time you see a nativity with shepherds kneeling before the manager, remember they represent us. They remind us that anyone and everyone is welcome to come to the Lord Jesus. Regardless of who we are, what we have done, or where we have been.
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to earth for people like me. Thank you for loving me and inviting me into Your grand plan of redemption.
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