Luke 2:8-14 :
There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.” Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace, good will toward men.”
I don’t think that shepherding has ever been seen as a desirable job by those who wish to be rich and famous in the eyes of the world. As I read this passage this time I considered this strange thing. God didn’t go the the Pharasees to announce the birth of the Messiah. He didn’t go to Herod. He didn’t even go to the police. For some reason He chose the shepherds.
Not only that, he gave those shepherds a first-class show of heaven’s glory complete with a formal announcement by “multitude of the heavenly army.” Have you ever wondered why he chose the shepherds? I don’t think that it is because God lacked class. I think it is because His idea of class is very different than that of mankind.
God loves to use shepherds. Two major instances of this include Moses and David. God talked directly to these men and both became leaders of many people. Remember, this was taking place in David’s city!
It’s also very likely that shepherds are humbled by their circumstances and God loves to work with humble people. Another is that they show a propensity to work with creatures that need leadership and very close care. Sheep can be lead like people and it makes sense that shepherding is a training ground for leadership in God’s eyes. Another obvious reason is that Jesus considered Himself to be a good shepherd. I think that Jesus has a very real understanding of the heart of a shepherd and it is perfectly natural for Him to tell them first for that reason alone.
All things considered, I think that God treats shepherding as a very excellent line of business and that is no joke at all. We need to see people by the real work that they do for God. Remember the first commands that God gave mankind in Genesis?
Genesis 1:28 :
God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
I think that shepherding is God’s kind of subduing and domination that works with sheep and correlates with how people need to be lead. The people at the “top of their games” regarding leadership were were probably the shepherds. Evidently it worked. Even Dr. Luke found out about the event and was able to write it down for us. God really knows what He’s doing doesn’t He?