December 14: Read Luke 2:6-18 ESV

Yesterday, we explored the idea that the shepherds could have been special Levitical Shepherds. Today, we look at the traditional theory that these shepherds, to whom the angels announced the birth of Christ, are lowly shepherds. What would be the difference? 

During the times of the Patriarchs, shepherding was a noble occupation that had the potential to create great wealth. Over time, the status of shepherding dropped, and by the time of Jesus, it was no longer a noble job but found to be one of the lowliest trades. In fact, they were officially labeled “sinners.”

If, in fact, these shepherds are your normal, everyday shepherd, known by society as the lowest on the social and caste system rung, then it brings even more significance to the fact that the birth of the Messiah was announced to them first. Jesus came to restore the lowest to a place of worth. His whole ministry would be centered around the outcast and marginalized. 

We must also consider that some of the most key followers of the Lord started as shepherds, that the Lord was termed a ‘Good Shepherd’ often in scripture, and that Jesus will identify himself with shepherds often in his ministry.

No matter where you fall on the shepherd theory, what the Lord shows us is that the journey to the Messiah is about what the Messiah does for us. He is the sacrifice for our sins, He is the one that visits the sinner and the outcast. He is the perfect lamb and the one Great Shepherd.

Prayer: Today, Lord, help me to listen to you and see the gift of your Son in a new light. Reveal how you are working and have been working to get me to where I am now, so I may rejoice in the journey. 

Reflection Questions

The shepherds went with haste and found Mary and Joseph. Then they told others about Jesus. Are you sharing the news of Jesus with others?

Is there someone you are praying for to receive the news about Jesus after you told them what he has done in your life?

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