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The Watchful Shepherds

James

While the Lord Jesus is being born quietly in a stable, God himself has come down into our world and is now present in human form, Luke moves the story to a nearby field where some shepherds are watching there sheep.  No one else in Bethlehem or Judea is aware of the amazing event that has just taken place.  Suddenly an angel from heaven appears in front of them, in blazing glory, to announce the news.  If the world doesn’t care what is happening in Bethlehem Heaven certainly does. 

The Shepherds are rightly terrified.   Keep in mind that they are Jewish people who know the old testament.  Angels are scary, if you look at them directly in may mean your death.  But this time the Angel is here to announce Good News. 

            ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

Then the shepherds are amazed as they see an army of angels in the sky to back up the good news.

This good news is for everyone.  The gospel that we preach at TCF, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners is freely available to all men.  This is proven by it being announced to shepherds who were a lowly class in biblical times.  Later kings and wise men will hear the news as well.  It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you are rich or poor.  Male or female.  Young or old.  Black or white.  Clever or uneducated.  The bible is clear, the message is for you.  And it is Good News.

Because of what Jesus has done we can be saved.  We can be forgiven and made free.  One day we can go to heaven.  Not because we are good ourselves, the bible says we are all sinners.  But because Jesus was born in the manger and when He had grown up He went to the cross to pay our debt.  Now He has risen and the Good News is still there for us.  This is why it is such good news that causes great joy.

How did the shepherds react?  We are told; the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’  They went to find out for themselves.  They sought out the Saviour.  While thousands of people in Bethlehem and millions in Judea missed Gods Son, these few shepherds found Him and were joyful glorifying God.  This Christmas, 2013, I leave the challenge with you.  Will you seek out the Lord Jesus to find out about the Good News?  Or like millions of others will you ignore Him and miss out?