The Song of the Shepherds

“And there were shepherd living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night…Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’” (Luke 2:8-14).
Shepherds were not the most prestigious people. They were looked down on in society and were generally considered highway men, robbers, and unclean. But God sends the angel Gabriel to them to tell them of Jesus’ birth. We’ve already discussed how God provided a sign for the wise men to follow, but God sent an angel to the shepherds.
           
These men are looked down at; they’re dirty; they’re excluded and even shunned by some people because they are shepherds. They could’ve very well been tending to the sheep that would be brought into the temple, but the shepherds themselves weren’t allowed in the temple. They were outcasts, forgotten by society. But God sends an angel and heavenly hosts to them as though they were honored above all others.
           
After the shepherds find Mary and Joseph and Jesus, “they spread the word concerning what had been told to them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them…The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told” (Luke 2:17-20).
           
Thus, the excluded become the evangelists.
           
God used the men who many viewed as the scum of the earth to tell the great news of the King. The Bible doesn’t parade perfect people. God is for all people. His message is for the world—God so loved the world.  
           
God had heavenly hosts sing a song to shepherds because God is no respecter of persons, and titles mean nothing in the kingdom of God. 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance of a man or woman.
           
He used shepherds who tended flocks of sheep in a field to proclaim the birth of the Good Shepherd who would lay His own life down for His flock.
           
Can you think of a higher honor than being told first about King Jesus? Could there be any greater gift than to be told that your Savior was just born? Go and visit Him.
           
This is perhaps one of the greatest representations of God’s heart: when heaven sang over shepherds on a silent night.

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