Day 32: The Faith of the Shepherds

Luke 2:15-20 :

It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough. When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child. All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them.

When the shepherds heard the message from the angels, they went immediately to Bethlehem. We know that they believed God because when they heard the message they referred to it as “this thing that has happened.” There was no questioning just belief and a desire to see that “which the Lord has made known to us.” This is the best way that I can think of to respond to the word of God. When we read it, we should believe in such a way that we act on it right now. Notice that they “came with haste” to find where the baby was and they were able to find Him even though there could have been a few babies born that night.

My guess is that they asked around to find out if anyone had heard of a family that had a baby born. Eventually they found out about Mary and Joseph and when they came in, they saw the sign that the angels told them in the form of a baby in a feeder. There is a chance that Jesus wasn’t the first baby they visited that night but they did seek until they found Him. This is the faith that we need. If we don’t quite understand but we do believe, we should persist in what we know until God makes it clear to us.

When the shepherds experienced Jesus for themselves, “they publicized widely” what had happened and it changed the lives of those around them. This is what we should do also. When we experience the truth that the the Bible tells us, we should go and tell those around us so that they have a chance to know it too.

Finally, we learn that “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.” This is the result of faith. When you believe and then experience it to be true, you are filled with joy and praise to God and it is a very good thing to be able to live our lives in joy and praise because of faith.

Notice that all that happened to the shepherds didn’t come from money or position. It came from the word of God being accepted by real faith that resulted in changed lives. This is a very good pattern for us.

Notice also that Mary was also affected in a good way in that she was able to ponder it in her heart. Her faith was strengthened by the faith of others too.